+1/2 -- Superb meeting of two blues guitar legends
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 07/06/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 1983 live performance summit between a legend and a soon-to-be legend has been reissued a few times on CD, including a hybrid SACD in 2003. This latest CD is a remastered reissue of the original eleven tracks and includes three sets of liner notes. At the time the pair met in a Canadian TV studio, Vaughn was blazing a trail into the blues world with his debut album, Texas Flood. King was long since a legend in the blues world, and though he didn't recognize the name "Vaughn," he immediately recognized the guitarist who'd sat in with him whenever he played in Austin. Snippets of dialogue interspersed between the tracks do a good job of showing the personal bond that complemented the guitar slingers' deep artistic connections.
King and Vaughn are backed by the former's tack sharp road band, and run through a set drawn almost entirely from King's catalog. You can hear what was on the horizon, though, as Vaughn rips into his own "Pride and Joy" with monster tone and a gutsy vocal. Throughout the session the players trade licks and prod each other with solos that quote all the great players from whom they learned. King's influence is clear in Vaughn's playing, but hearing them side-by-side (the recording does a nice job of keeping their guitars separated slightly left and right) gives listeners an opportunity to hear how the same fundamentals change as they filter through different fingers and hardware.
As free as both guitarists play, the band, the catalog, and the deference Vaughn shows King all tipped in favor of the latter orchestrating the pacing. This is a master class, King leading the way with his guitar and providing verbal tips in between songs. In any other venue Vaughn would be the master, but here he plays the role of apprentice. How many chances do you get to play with someone who can introduce "Blues at Sunrise" with "This is that thing, uh, I recorded with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin out there at the Fillmore West"? It was a good time to be the apprentice. Anyone who loves King, Vaughn or great blues guitar should catch this one. 4-1/2 stars, if allowed fractional ratings. [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]"
Happy Shopper | So. Cal. | 08/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a huge SRV fan for a long time and I was so excited to run across this CD. Hearing SRV play with his hero Albert King gave me goosebumps. While the music is outstanding, the banter between the two bluesmen is even better. It makes you feel like you are sitting in the studio with them.
This CD is well worth adding to your collection."