By the second half of the 1960s, blues hero B.B. King (Born Riley B. King) had refined and tightened his criss-crossing guitar and singing style into a powerful sonic force of blues music, and his peak years of mainstream success hadn’t even reached him yet. The Mississippi-born performer had developed a potent reputation as a showman both for his own technical prowess, and his charisma and ability to command and captivate an audience.
1967’s live album Blues Is King puts this live performance dexterity on full display, in the very city of electric blues’ inception. Originally recorded in a Chicago club one November night in 1966, King and a group of session heavyweights unleash a set of standards and originals upon an eager audience.
B.B. King is flanked by several revered blues sidemen including Sonny Freeman on drums, Kenneth Sands on trumpet, and Louis Satterfield on bass, to name just a few. In the end, the star of Blues Is King is King himself, frequently bantering with the club audience, and spinning musical stories of heartache and rage with his impassioned vocal roar, and precision blues guitar zeal. An unequivocal must-have for any blues fanatic, and a perfect audio depiction of King’s invigorating live act.