Sep 112013

Albert King is a legendary blues musician, world renowned for his distinctive style and Flying V guitar. Albert was the first to combine Mississippi blues style with the more contemporary soul rhythms. King pushed the blues ahead throughout his career and was one of the most influential blues musicians playing during the birth of Rock n Roll, soul, and funk.albert_king_B

Albert’s early influences included the slide guitar stylings of Elmore James and later the distinctive playing of T-Bone Walker. Albert claimed that he just mixed it all together and then added his own touches. A tortured brand of blues goodness all his own.

Part of Albert’s distinction was his left-handed playing style where he played the right-handed guitar upside down and strung it backwards. This helped create his singing guitar sound, a long sustained note with few chords. King played without a pick because he never felt comfortable using one and preferred to strum with his thumb.

His single string solo style was unlike anyone else. His ability to bend strings and create odd tunings allowed him to play some of the most tortured sounds ever produced on guitar. He was one of the few who successfully married the 60s blues sound with the newer soul sound of the day, a combination that greatly influenced Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Albert was signed by both Stax and Chess labels as well as several smaller ones through the years. His time at Stax was considered his best period by blues enthusiasts and it is hard to argue otherwise. The CD King of the Blues Guitar includes his best work for Stax and should be included in any blues fans collection.

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