But he kept it hidden a lot. Along with B.
He was, however, born in the same place as B. King—Indianola, Mississippi—on April 25, While he may not have literally been born under a bad sign, his birth date does put Albert King in the contentious and creative zodiacal house of Taurus. Later in life, he would assume the regal surname King as a stage name, some say in homage to B.
The family moved to Forrest City, Arkansas, when Albert was eight. He spent some time as an agricultural laborer, picking cotton, but set his sights on making a life for himself in music early on.
But he also tuned to the same intervals in both C and D. For guitarists accustomed to playing in standard, none of these tunings are as intuitive as, say, open G or E.
go here This yields a different perspective on the instrument, one that is, in a way, more in tune with nature, with the low strings closer to the ground and the high strings nearer to the sky. I play a few chords, but not many.
I always concentrated on my singing guitar sound—more of a sustained note. King exploited this capacity to particularly dramatic effect, sometimes bending notes as much as four tones up.
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His huge hands were another factor in this aspect of his style, as was the slackness of the strings in the low-slung tunings Albert favored. He mainly used his thumb to pluck the notes. But his first finger would also sometimes come into play in helping shape the steely pinched tones that are another hallmark of his style. By the time he cut this disc, King had paid plenty of dues, singing lead tenor with gospel quartet the Harmony Kings, fronting his own group—the Groove Boys—in Osceola, Arkansas, and playing drums for seminal blues guitarist and singer Jimmy Reed.
It also became a featured track on his very first album, The Big Blues , in This is the lowdown slow blues at its finest, and the guitar-and-vocal interplay is exquisite. By the time the disc was released, King had found his instrument: a korina wood Gibson Flying V. There has been much speculation as to why he favored this particular guitar, but upside-down lefties tend to seek out instruments with symmetrically shaped bodies and headstocks, as they look much less awkward when flipped.
And among symmetrically shaped guitars, a Flying V certainly has far more flash and panache than, say, an SG or Like many archetypal bluesmen, King was often on the move, particularly in the early phases of his career. The deep, dark Memphis Horns reinforce the driving bass line, and funky off-beats walk up to the V chord.
Stax had one of the greatest-sounding recording rooms of the period as well as a brilliant pool of staff musicians, producers, and tunesmiths, including Hayes and Booker T. This was a new sound in the blues: urgently contemporary, no mere exercise in the kind of purist reconstructionism that had come into vogue at the time.
By this point, his original Flying V had gone missing, allegedly lost by the guitarist in a game of craps. It was replaced by a Flying V presented to King by Gibson. In many ways, King is best understood through his live recordings. It probably still is, for that matter. But this compilation of his first couple of years at Stax — consisting of his stunning Born Under A Bad Sign album from , expanded by its accompanying singles — rolls out the classic funk stomps, high-drama slow blues and rocking, up-tempo shuffles plus the odd ballad which had such a devastating impact on the late 60s blues scene.
There are many Albert King live albums, not a single one of them bad, but this was his first. The soundtrack to a TV special teaming Albert with his ardent disciple, prodigious year-old Texan blues guitar firebrand Stevie Ray Vaughan , whose debut album, Texas Flood , had surfaced that year. Vaughan takes a vocal lead on his own Pride And Joy but otherwise cedes centre-stage to his mentor. In translation to CD, this Montreux show loses the equivalent of a full side from the original vinyl double — shedding Overall Junction and all 16 minutes of Jam In A Flat in the process — but you still get well over an hour of King Albert tearing them Yurpeens a few new ones.
For his part, the big man sounds majorly bored and amuses himself by trying to turn almost every song into Crosscut Saw — though he does play a blinder of a solo on the closing Love Me Tender.