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'Cornbread'By Cornbread

B.B. King’s One Kind Favor
B.B. King’s One Kind Favor
Geffen Records | Aug. 26, 2008

For more than 60 years, Riley B. King - better known as B.B. King - has defined the blues for a worldwide audience. Since he started recording in the 1940s, he has released over 50 albums, won 14 Grammy Awards, been inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of the Arts, the Kennedy Center Honors, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award among many other awards. In a special ceremony at the Library of Congress, Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington presented B.B. with a “Living Legend” medal in honor of his achievements as a musician and ambassador for the blues. After 10,000 concerts, B.B. King, the elder blues statesman continues to bring his music to audiences around the globe spending the better part of each year on the road with his beloved guitar, “Lucille.”

One Kind Favor features covers of old blues songs from B.B. King’s early influences. The song set revisits the music that influenced B.B. in the 1950s and meant to sound as if recorded in that era. To help B.B. enlisted help from some of the greats – Dr. John on piano, Nathan East on stand up acoustic bass and Jim Keltner on drums, to name a few.

The tracks along with the name of the artist who originally recorded the track, are:
• 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)
• 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 and Lonnie Chatmon)
• Tomorrow Night (Lonnie Johnson)

While this CD has received a good response from fans, I found the song selection very dark and gloomy as if B.B. is singing of his own demise. Aside from that the CD was pretty good, not great. I guess I’m partial to B.B.’s original songs and perfectly placed guitar vibratos or the newer joint efforts like Riding With The King that combined B.B. and Eric Clapton. As a diehard fan you’ll probably like this CD, as a newbee probably not.

In other B.B. news, on September 13, 2008 B.B. presided at the opening of the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in his hometown of Indianola , MS . Also in September B.B. King began hosting his own weekly radio show on XM Radio on their newly relaunched blues channel “BB Kings Bluesville” (XM 74).

Peace and Love
Peter 'Cornbread' Cohen, CBP
~ Cornbread@STLBlues.net
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