This quintessential collector's edition includes B.B. King's sensational album, My Kind of Blues, originally issued by the Crown label in August 1960 and long unavailable on vinyl. King himself has called it his favourite album and it's easy to see why.
Recorded around March 1960 using only the accompaniment of Lloyd Glenn (piano), probably Ralph Hamilton (bass) and Jessie Sailes (drums), King's stinging guitar and powerful voice come across beautifully. There's a relaxed, almost after-hours feel to the proceedings emphasized by Glenn's delicate piano work. Many of the songs are blues standards that have been covered by others, but in B.B.'s hands, they sound like true blues songs and it shows in his graceful and elegant performances. This may be the purest expression of King's music, as exemplified on “Catfish Blues,” which is so dynamic it's perhaps the definitive version of this standard.
There's a fine balance between the classic B.B. cuts of “You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now” and “It's My Own Fault, Darlin',” letting us know what's always been part of King's blues message – that a relationship is a mutual responsibility. “Mr. Pawnbroker” describes marital blues from a pawnbroker's perspective. The best thing about all the songs is that they feature King's voice and guitar in their most essential form: upfront, sharp and strong, in a spare, blue setting.
Recorded at Radio Recorders studios, 7000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, California, on March 16, 1960.
1. You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now (B. B. King, Joe Josea) 5:15
2. Mr. Pawnbroker (King, Jule0s Taub) 3:16
3. Understand (Cecil Gant) 2:39
4. Someday Baby (Lightnin' Hopkins) 2:54
5. Driving Wheel (Roosevelt Sykes) 2:52
6. Walking Dr. Bill (Doctor Clayton) 3:41
7. My Own Fault (King) 3:34
8. Fishin' After Me (Robert Petway) 2:29
9. Hold That Train (Clayton) 3:58
10. Please Set the Date (Minnie McCoy) 2:49
B.B. King - guitar, vocals
Lloyd Glenn - piano
Ralph Hamilton - bass
Jessie Sailes - drums