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Monday, 13 June 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 165 - B.B. King & Eric Clapton

Riding with the King - B.B. King & Eric Clapton
Produced by Simon Climie & Eric Clapton
Released 13th June 2000
UK Chart #15
US Chart #3
US Top Blues Chart #1

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"

    B.B. King – guitar, co-lead vocals
    Eric Clapton – guitar, co-lead vocals (tracks 1, 3–9, 11, 12)
    Doyle Bramhall II – guitar (tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9–12), background vocals (tracks 4, 7)
    Andy Fairweather Low – guitar (tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9–12)
    Jimmie Vaughan – guitar (track 6)
    Joe Sample – piano (1, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11), Wurlitzer piano (tracks 1, 2, 11)
    Tim Carmon – organ (tracks 1 to 7, 9–12)
    Nathan East – bass
    Steve Gadd – drums
    Arif Mardin - String Arrangements
    Susannah Melvoin – background vocals (tracks 1, 4, 7, 9, 11, 12)
    Wendy Melvoin – background vocals (tracks 1, 4, 7, 9, 11, 12)


Riding with the King was the first collaborative album between two legends of the Blues, B.B. King & Eric Clapton. They had actually performed together before, the first time being back in 1967 when Clapton was a member of Cream but they did not actually record together until 1997 when Clapton collaborated on the song Rock Me Baby for King's Duets album Dueces Wild.

Clapton was the instigator and although he brought the musicians together, used the same producer he had used on a number of albums it wasn't really an Eric Clapton album as such because he made sure that B.B. King had centre stage on many tracks on the album both vocally and with the guitar solos.

The album contains five "vintage" King songs from the 1950s and 1960s: "Ten Long Years", "Three O'Clock Blues", "Help the Poor", "Days of Old" and "When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer". Other standards include the Big Bill Broonzy-penned "Key to the Highway" (which Clapton had recorded in the early 1970s with Derek and the Dominos), Chicago pianist Maceo Merriweather's "Worried Life Blues", a cover of Isaac Hayes's composition "Hold On, I'm Comin'" originally a 1966 single for Sam & Dave, and "Come Rain or Come Shine" from the 1946 musical St. Louis Woman. The album's title track, "Riding with the King", is a John Hiatt composition that came about when producer Scott Mathews recounted to Hiatt a strange and abstract dream he had of flying on an airplane with Elvis Presley. It is also the title track of Hiatt's 1983 album of the same name that Mathews co-produced. The balance of the tracks were written especially for the album.*

*(I borrowed this section from Wikipedia)

The album was pretty much well received by critics though there were some who complained it sounded a little too polished for a Blues album! My response to that would be, "Hang on a minute, this is two of the finest Blues guitarists in the world, were you expecting them to record in a toilet with bad acoustics!"

The album charted well all around the world and it was not unexpected that it ended up winning a Grammy for The Best Traditional Blues Album.

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!
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