Riding With the King

Riding With the King

by Eric Clapton, B.B. KingEric Clapton


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The coming together of artists as distinctive as Eric Clapton and B.B. King is a major event, rife with expectations from even the most cynical blues fan. And thankfully, Riding with the King is true to the best of both B.B. King and Clapton's recordings. The John Hiatt-penned title cut finds both artists singing and playing guitar along with Andy Fairweather-Low and Doyle Bramhall II, the son of Stevie Ray Vaughan's songwriting partner Doyle Bramhall. All that six-string work is a bit over the top, but then it's the perfect tune for excess, and King's spoken lyrics about leaving Mississippi at ten years old with "a suit cut sharp as a razor and a heart of gold" makes it seem like the tune was written just for him. The set settles down for a classic version of King's "Ten Long Years," with the King taking on vocals while Clapton, Fairweather, and Bramhall play guitar. Both superstars go into acoustic mode for a lean versions of "Key to the Highway" and "Worried Life" while their "Three O'Clock Blues," "When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer," and "Help the Poor" recall King's laid-back electric blues circa 1968. From King's jump-blues era in the '50s comes a killer version of "Days of Old" with Clapton so at ease and energized by this audience with the King that he actually growls and shouts his shared vocals (as he also does on the cover of the Sam & Dave hit "Hold On, I'm Comin'" and several other cuts. Two Bramhall-penned tunes have that big-arena rock feel --"I Wanna Be" and "Marry You" -- obviously included to keep Clapton's fans interested, but King's mammoth voice holds its own in the fray. The set ends with a lovely, string-laden version of the Mercer/Arlen standard "Come Rain or Come Shine." Though the tune has previously been righteously bluesified by Ray Charles and James Booker, the Clapton/King rendition is infused with just the right amount of passionate devotion. Clapton and his frequent collaborator Simon Climie produced Riding with the King for Clapton's label, with their focus on paying tribute to the King of the Blues without getting on their hands and knees. The result is King's most exciting work in nearly a decade.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/13/2000
Label: Reprise / Wea
UPC: 0093624761228
catalogNumber: 47612
Rank: 162660


  1. Riding with the King
  2. Ten Long Years
  3. Key to the Highway
  4. Marry You
  5. Three O'Clock Blues
  6. Help the Poor
  7. I Wanna Be
  8. Worried Life Blues
  9. Days of Old
  10. When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer
  11. Hold on! I'm Comin'
  12. Come Rain or Come Shine

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Eric Clapton   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
B.B. King   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Joe Sample   Piano,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
Andy Fairweather Low   Guitar
Nathan East   Bass
Steve Gadd   Drums
Susannah Melvoin   Background Vocals
Wendy Melvoin   Background Vocals
Jimmie Vaughan   Guitar
Tim Carmon   Hammond Organ
Doyle Bramhall   Guitar

Technical Credits

Lowell Fulson   Composer
Big Maceo Merriweather   Composer
Craig Anderson   Author
Spencer Chrislu   Author
Eric Clapton   Producer
Simon Climie   Producer
B.B. King   Composer
Arif Mardin   Orchestration
Charlie Singleton   Composer
Stephen Walker   Art Direction
David May   Producer
Paul Waller   drum programming
David Dieckmann   Author
Jules Taub   Composer
Jules Bihari   Composer
Alan Douglas   Engineer

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