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One Kind Favor by B.B. King

Artist: B.B. King

Title: One Kind Favor

Geffen, 2008

In the summer of ‘94, I was 14 years old when my dad dropped me and a friend off at Hirsch Coliseum on a Friday evening for the Summer Blues Jam headlined by B.B. King.   Numerous bands/musicians played on that day, and it was smokin’ good! By the time B.B. took the stage it was well past curfew. He literally played four songs in about 15 minutes and that was it. I still remember how upset most of the crowd was that B.B. wasn’t able to play a longer set. You can’t put a curfew on the blues!

I have always been a fan of B.B. King, but I honestly prefer my blues a little more raw. King’s more recent releases have been too slick or over-produced to keep my attention for long. Then he released 2008’s One Kind Favor and it completely blew me away. Produced by T Bone Burnett, One Kind Favor features the 82-year-old blues icon playing classic songs from such artists as Lonnie Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, Big Bill Broonzy, and the Mississippi Sheiks. Backed by Jim Keltner (Lennon, Dylan) on drums, Nathan East (Clapton) on stand-up bass and Dr. John on piano, King manages to sound both modern and vintage at the same time. He’s relaxed and in charge throughout the recording.

If you are a fan of the blues, you have got to hear this music. One thing I always do with an album like this is explore the original recordings of the songs being covered. After all, if the music is important to B.B. it must be worth knowing more about. The library is the perfect place for this type of musical exploration. Visit your local library or search Shreve Memorial’s online catalog to discover music by many classic blues artists. One Kind Favor is available at the Broadmoor, Hamilton/South Caddo, Main, Mooretown, North Shreve, and Wallette locations of Shreve Memorial Library.

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