365 Days of Album Recommendations – Jan 3

Albert King – I’ll Play The Blues For You


I don’t listen to a great deal of electric blues guitar. I never really have, despite the guitar being my primary instrument for 30+ years. But when I DO listen to it, I dig Albert King just about the best. And for my money, this is about the best there is. The combination of Albert’s crazy tone, pitch-defying bends, and throaty soulful vox, with The Bar-Kays and The Memphis Horns via Stax, is just funky beyond imagination. Plus, by and large, the songwriting is superlative, which wasn’t always the case with records by Mr. Albert. “Crosscut Saw” may be a great guitar track, for example, but it’s a fucking stupid song.

But the songs here are straight up dynamite, with favorites being:

“I’ll Play the Blues for You, Pts. 1-2”
“Little Brother (Make a Way)”
“Breaking up Somebody’s Home”
“Answer to the Laundromat Blues”
“Don’t Burn Down the Bridge”

Much as I LOVE “I’ll Play The Blues For You,” “Breaking Up Somebody’s Home” is where you want to start. The groove is just sinuous beyond imagination, every note is played to perfection, every single thing Albert does is just gorgeous, but beyond all that, if THIS isn’t the fuckin’ blues in a nutshell, then I don’t know what is:

I got nowhere to turn to, tired of being alone
I feel like breaking up somebody’s home


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