Speaking of his work on David Bowie’s Let’s Dance, Steve Ray Vaughan once admitted that he wanted to see just how many places Albert King’s licks would work. “You know, they always fit,” he smiled. And that was true whether Albert or one of his better pupils were doing the playing.
A couple years prior to this June, 1970, concert, Albert had crossed over from the chitlin circuit to FM radio and rock ballrooms – winning over crowds on bills with Hendrix, Creedence, et al. Surprisingly, the four songs on this double-CD may be the only documentation of any jams that ensued.
Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger gets off some gnarly, period blues-rock licks on “Five To One” before entering day-glo psychedelia on the extended “When The Music’s Over.” But when the band brings on King, he’s schooling them 30 seconds into a Stones-tinged “Little Red Rooster.” Krieger throws in some out-of-tune slide jabs while Albert is in full command of his massive bends, fat tone, and those never-fail licks. Neither seems very interested in playing anything resembling rhythm – though King throws in some nice accent riffs on “Money” before more on-target soloing.
Despite Morrison’s over-the-top vocal excesses, “Rock Me” and “Who Do You Love” would sound like a decent blues band (with a killer guitarist) if Krieger’s slide distractions were mixed out.
Things take a sharp left-field turn once King exits. After Morrison’s short poem, “Petition The Lord With Prayer,” the quartet launches into 17-minute renditions of “Light My Fire” and their encore, “The End.”
Packaging flaws include 14 minutes devoted to tuning and dead air – although that isn’t near as egregious as crediting Albert, not Robbie, on “slide guitar.” King must be rolling in his grave (maybe Morrison, too).
This article originally appeared in VG‘s April ’11 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.
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