Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Soul of a Man

While known the world over as the undisputed King of the Blues, B.B. King at his best bears his soul with his underrated vocals and deep lyrics. At the same time his guitar Lucille can rip out your heart with a single note. Always a gentleman with an incredible life story (I strongly recommend Blues All around Me: The Autobiography of B. B. King ), B.B. is a national treasure not to be overlooked. Born on this day in 1925, I give you a few soulful classics from the ever humble King.

B.B. King: Hummingbird

Here's Bee's soulful rendition of a Leon Russell staple. Heartfelt vocals and searing fret work lead up to a triumphant gospel choir. Find this track on one of B.B.'s best, 1970's Indianola Mississippi Seeds.

B.B. King: Ghetto Woman

Eager to repeat the success of his crossover hit The Thrill Is Gone, B.B. seemed to try the same formula for several years to no avail. One result was this moving, though string heavy track co written with Dave Clark from the 1971 In London LP.

B.B. King: I Like To Live The Love

One of my favorite B.B. soul tunes from 1973's To Know You Is To Love You. Backed by the same Philly rhythm section that powered The O'Jays, The Stylistics, & The Spinners B.B. lays a smooth infectious groove.


Preston Lauterbach said...

wonderful site!
Agreed that Blues All Around... is must read. One of the things I've found interesting about B' is that he has crossed over and back between white and black audiences with certain songs. "I Like to Live..." is one that plays on All Blues Saturday here in Memphis on WDIA alongside the raunchy soul blues that todays black blues audience digs. It's yet another testament to his power as artist and human.

Keep up the great work!

Buffalo West Music said...

Thanks for the kind words.