Blues On The Bayou
If Blues on the Bayou’s title doesn’t convince you that this is the album you want, consider this: Among the 15 tracks that fill its hour-plus playing time are “Blues Boy’s Tune,” “Blues Man,” “Blues We Like” and “Blues in ‘G.’” In the 51st year of his recording career when the world’s most famous blues guitarist came to this 1998 disc, he wasn’t about to make major alterations to his style. (But that's not why you’re here, surely.) And still, as it happens, King does throw a few happy curves on this casual, immensely well-played set. “Broken Promise” is taken at an almost lounge-ready pace, it seems — until you notice that the artist is nearly screaming his lyrics. “Mean Ole’ World” is done as an uptown-Saturday-night bounce rather than at its usual downtrodden tempo. And “I’ll Survive” is as close as it comes these days to true post-World War II blues smoothness. Even at cruising speed, B.B. King remains connected to the source.