VOICES Notes and news on New Releases
31 MAY 12 DAVID SHANNON
Perhaps no other blues guitarist/singer personifies the Stax sound more than Albert King. The Mississippi-born King earned his right to sing the blues working on Arkansas cotton plantations as a child and jumpstarted his professional musical career with the Arkansas-based In The Groove Boys before eventually landing on Stax and beginning an illustrious and colorful tenure with the legendary label. His 1972 recording I'll Play The Blues For You has been remastered as part of the Stax Remasters series and features four unreleased tracks as well as newly composed liner notes penned by noted roots music sage Bill Dahl.
Alongside the original track listing, the remastered release contains a somewhat stripped-down version of "Don't Burn Down The Bridge ('Cause You Might Want To Come Back Across)" that dispenses with the horns but somehow adds urgency to the song. Another addition to the original album is "I Need A Love," a driving tune that navigates the intersection of blues, funk, and soul like only King could, with his guitar solos traversing over the sparkling Memphis Horns and the pulsing rhythm section comprised of members of The Bar-Kays and the Movement.
Two other previously unreleased tracks make this Stax Remaster special as well. "Albert's Stomp" is just that, all funky rhythm and plucky guitar lines and drums tramping steadily throughout the mix. Yet it may be the alternate version of "I'll Play the Blues For You" that fans will appreciate most. The horns more behind the mix, the tempo slowed ever-so-slightly, and King's solos taking on a more evocative ring.