Singin' the Blues/The Blues

Singin' the Blues/The Blues

by B.B. KingB.B. King


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B. B. King is perhaps the most well-known and enduring of living blues artists. For those wondering what all the fuss is about, these recordings from the early to mid-'50s, which include his hit "Sweet Little Angel," give ample evidence of the young B. B.'s exuberance and breadth. All of the stylistic tics associated with a King show are also present, but these songs are full of youthful enthusiasm and exploration. The horns are slightly askew, King's voice constantly employs a keening, sustained falsetto, and his single-string guitar playing ranges from a clean precise sound to a slightly distorted vibrato on the Elmore James nod "Please Love Me," the shuffle "You Upset Me Baby," and the mid-tempo drag "Crying Won't Help You." Though delightfully green at times, there's a fully developed range of approaches on these recordings (marketed as his first two albums for Crown). And they fully justify why King and the smoother Texas-to-West Coast guitarist T-Bone Walker were the dominant influences on aspiring blues musicians.

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