The "King of The Blues" and National Treasure B.B. King has teamed with renown producer T Bone Burnett for his upcoming album One Kind Favor.
For this album, King and Burnett have opted for a back-to-basics approach. The 12-song set is comprised entirely of covers, many of them songs that influenced King during his early years.
Additionally, Burnett has opted to pursue a vintage '50s sound for the record both in terms of production and and instrumentation. King and Burnett set up shop in an L.A. studio along with Dr. John (piano), Jim Keltner (drums), and Nathan East (standup acoustic bass).
Say this for Burnett: he is versatile. Burnett produced John Mellencamp's most recent album, Life, Death, Love, and Freedom, and released it in HD-Audio using a format he helped develop called (ΧΟΔΕ) CODE. Now Burnett has helped B.B. King go back in time to capture the sounds of his most famous records.
When I first heard about this release I thought, "How cool is that? BB King's going to record a back-to-basics, '50s-style classic." After thinking about it for a few minutes I realized something: he already did that! I know. I've got the box set! Setting aside my cynicism about the marketing of music, I for one will be among the first in line to hear this. Why can't this be great? Why wouldn't I want it to be? Even if this approach is a bit contrived, we're talking about a legendary musician teaming with a great producer and great musicians to play great, classic songs.
Turning our attention to the track list, I can't wait to hear King take a shot at a couple songs famously performed by the great Howlin' Wolf. While King doesn't have that same forceful rasp as Wolf, there are some vocal similarities that ought to make his recordings of "How Many More Years" and "Sitting On Top Of The World" worth hearing. Additionally, King is taking a crack at songs by Blind Lemon Jefferson, John Lee Hooker, and Big Bill Broonzy.
Here is the full tracklisting:
- "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" (Lemon Jefferson)
- "I Get So Weary" (T-Bone Walker),
- "Get These Blues Off Me" (Lee Vida Walker)
- "How Many More Years" (Chester Burnett aka Howlin' Wolf)
- "Waiting For Your Call" (Oscar Lollie)
- "My Love Is Down" (Lonnie Johnson),
- "The World Is Gone Wrong" (Walter Vinson, also known as Walter Jacobs, and Lonnie Chatmon, core members of the Mississippi Sheiks)
- "Blues Before Sunrise" (John Lee Hooker)
- "Midnight Blues" (John Willie "Shifty" Henry)
- "Backwater Blues" (Big Bill Broonzy)
- "Sitting On Top Of The World" (Walter Vinson Lonnie Chatmon)
- "Tomorrow Night" (Lonnie Johnson)