Thursday, June 20, 2013

Blues Thursday

Albert King was the first Bluesman STAX Records signed after Prince Conley had joined the label when it was still Satellite Records.  

Prince Conley, "I'm Going Home," (Satellite Records, 1961)

His first single came out on the Parrot label in Chicago in 1953, and was, well, a nice try. But even the greatest genius needs to be discovered. So he moved to St. Louis in 1956 where he formed a new band. From that time on, he primarily used the Flying V guitar.

It took until 1959 to score a minor success with "A Lonely Man." The song was written by Little Milton and appeared on the Bobbin label.

His first major hit, "Don't Throw Your Love on Me So Strong" (live recording)

"If you don't dig the blues [,] you got a hole in your soul"

(Albert King)

Albert King was born Albert Nelson on April 25th, 1923 in Indianola, MS. A heart attack ended his life in December 1992 while he was headed for an European tour. 

He was nicknamed "Velvet Bulldozer" because he was of an impressive stature and, during his early career had to make a living by driving a bulldozer. Playing left-handed on a guitar for right-handed players, with his guitar upside down, he has created the absolutely distinctive sound that set him apart from any other blues man. His focus was on "tone and intensity more than flash" as the source article states. 

"He was a master of the single-string solo and could bend strings to produce a particularly tormented blues sound that set his style apart from his contemporaries." (STAX site) Albert King's sound was not only idiosyncratic but also influential to such blues artists as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton, for example.  



Overall Junction
Drowning On Dry Land (instrumental)
Can't You See What You're Doing To Me

No comments: