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May 28, 2008

iPod DJ Vol. 2

Album: New Orleans Heat
Artist: Albert King
Year: 1978 (or 1979 depending who you ask)
Rating: 4/5

Ha-ha! Two coconuts in a row, no lemons! The amazingly talented shuffle button on my iPod instinctively picked another album I think is great. If you want to know what the iPod DJ thing is about, click here.

Okay, so the production isn't stellar, but it's Mr King (of the 'A' variety) at his funky best. The album was recorded in the Crescent City with some of New Orleans' best session players at the time.

It's a very laid back, hot/steamy night, windows open, jug of ice-cold cocktail kind of album. The urban myth about Albert is that he never bothered to actually tune his guitar right so he had to tweak every note to get to the right note. What is certain is that he was a lefty who played a righty upside-down, low E to the ground, so his high-string bends were pulls rather than pushes. He also tended to stick to a small 'box' on the fingerboard and just made his axe talk, talk, talk. Jamming along to this CD is a lot of fun and really lets you get your funk out, focussing you on bending single strings to different tones.

One interesting side note is that the Allen Toussaint penned track "Get Out My Life Woman" is currently being played by the Derek Trucks Band during live performances. Rumour is that the dTB will be going into the studio imminently to have a crack at recording a new album. I wonder whether it'll make the track listing...


Pribek said...

I used to have this record and, I would have guessed it was older than '78 but, as I get old, perception of time past grows ever fuzzy.
I've heard a lot of people do "Get Out My Life Woman", including Toussaint but, AK's is the one I mentally refer to.

"The urban myth about Albert is that he never bothered to actually tune his guitar right so he had to tweak every note to get to the right note."

I have an acquaintance that worked on guitars for a St. Lou music store. Albert brought his "V" in for something, tuning peg, strings, I don't know, something. Anyway this guy noticed that the intonation was as far off as any he'd ever seen. He said to Albert, "I can fix this intonation, you know."
To which Albert growled; "Gonna cost me?" And, the guy said, "Yeah it's five bucks." Albert grabbed the guitar and walked out, taking offense like the guy was trying to stick it to him.

One of the best shows I ever saw was, Albert, Bobby Bland and B.B. King at the Fox Theater in St. Lou.
Every guitar player needs to listen to Albert's late '60s version of "Personal Manager", don't know what album, but it was on Stax with the Stax guys. That track is other worldly.

Further on up the road said...

Don't really know much Albert King. I know he used to use a Flying Vee left hand upside down not restrung. And I know The Sky is Crying mostly via Gary Moore's version...

I should learn more...