Albert King, Live Wire/Blues Power (1968)
I still remember, vividly, when I first heard Albert King. This giant bear of a man that was dragging the guitar around stage, wrestling with it, wrangling it in an ugly way to make blunt but beautiful noises. I was 10 years old. I was hooked on all sorts of blues guitar sounds but this towering figure with his gruff croak and his slick/evil sound was something altogether different. So many of the players I was digging had come from him. But he seemed so fresh and yet actually raw is the better word. My head was swimming with the sound. I bought this album many years ago and kept it sealed for a long time – I had other Albert King LPs to get on with. One Saturday morning, recently, I flicked the wrap off this and just basked in the sound. A classic album sounding still so vital, taking me back to when I was 10 years old and to one of the many times in my life when my whole world felt suddenly so different because of a sound I could never quite put my finger on. But part of the magic was in watching the man put his finger on the sound, pulling it down and wrenching it up and blurring the world for a bit. Making the audience beg for mercy and more in equal measures.
Sample Track: Blues Power
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