I could go on about how this particular King isn’t as popular as B.B. or Albert, and that’s because he died young, or made some less-than-incredible albums in the 70s, blah-blah-blah, but that’s not what matters in the hear n’ now. What matters IS that he left a legacy of fine recordings that impacted the music world then (look at Freddie/Freddy King’s most famous acolyte: Eric Clapton) and can impact it all over again, via the Collectables’ reissuing of King’s ENTIRE output for the King and Federal labels, the stuff of which his legend is made. This set, Volume One, consists of recordings from 1960-61.
Freddy King’s uniquely piercing, treble-charged guitar and songwriting style combined the best aspects of the Texas (dusty flat-plains down-home) and Chicago (urban/urbane, scorching electric) schools, but he was no hardcore purist. Some of his King/Federal recordings are nifty instrumentals that reflect not only the blues, put R&B, country music and even a touch of surf-rock, and he recorded several tunes that are best described as proto-Southern R&B - hey, they (King and/or the record company didn’t want to "document an art form," they wanted to sell records). But the majority of what Freddy King did was the straight-from-the-gut, straight-to-the-heart BLUES, and he did as good as ANYone has ever done. Doubtful? Save some folding green, buy this platter and behold track 4, "Have You Ever Loved A Woman" - it’s a near-perfect example of somebody taking some mah-pohr-hawt-is-broke sentiments and turning them into a wrenchingly cathartic, soulful experience. This stuff is such that it makes Buddy Guy’s recent stuff sound like Michael Bolton’s fillet’d soul. If somebody in your life - or a visitor from Mars - doesn’t have ANY idea of what electric blues sounds like, this here disc will be not only a primo example but a regular education. Or if you like modern guys/gals Robert Cray, Deborah Coleman and Jimmie Vaughn and have a notion to see what came before, what inspired THEM, this IS for you.