Solo performer: Albert King (vocals, guitar).
Recorded live at the Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco. Originally released on Stax (2003).
Personnel: Albert King (vocals, guitar); Al Jackson, Jr. (drums).
Liner Note Author: Gene Simmons.
Recording information: The Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA.
By 1968, after years of regional success and low-profile gigging, Albert King had attained significant popularity among both blues and rock audiences. The 1967 release of his Stax debut BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN had achieved crossover success, and he was regularly sharing stages with the likes of Jimi Hendrix at Bill Graham's Fillmore auditorium in San Francisco. That venue is the setting for this live recording, which catches King at the height of his game, both vocally and as an axeman.
King throws a curveball with the opener, a boogaloo-tinged rendition of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man." "Blues Power," in its spoken, call-and-response interludes and King's stinging electric leads, testifies to the redemptive strength of the form. The high-energy overdrive of "Nightstomp," complete with slightly distorted amplification, seems suited to the young revelers one imagines in the audience that evening, and the deeply soulful "Blues at Sunrise" shows off some of King's best fretwork. All told, this is a stellar set from one of blues' most influential and appealing figures.