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CD Review: B.B. King

One Kind Favor

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The Deal: Blues legend releases new album of cover songs with the help of producer T. Bone Burnett.

The Good: King's guitar playing was never about "shock and awe." The man can make one note have more emotion than any lyric or complete solo. His riffs and guitar work aim straight for the heart like good blues should. His voice is weathered and aged, but it only gives more credence to the lyrics that he sings. He hits all the right notes with the right amount of rasp and power on his cover of Lee Vida Walker's "Get These Blues Off Me." The album also features piano work from Dr. John. He covers a range of tunes, most of which the average person is not familiar with – T. Bone Walker's "I Get So Weary," Lonnie Johnson's "Tomorrow Night," Lemon Jefferson's "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean."

The Bad: Nine times out of 10, I prefer originals over covers. When it comes to B.B. King, he can do whatever he wants. He's earned it.

The Verdict: After all these years, the King has still got it. His voice is strong and his licks are as emotional as ever. It's B.B. King – no surprises here, just good blues.

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