Music Reviews

Freddie King

The Ultimate Collection


Luther Allison

Bad News is Coming


This is some of Chicago blues’ finest, if not most well-known, guitarists’ work. Serendipitously, these two releases by mentor (King) and protégé (Allison) have been released by two different labels at about the same time.

King’s album is more varied, being a “best-of” featuring songs recorded from 1960 to 1975, while Allison’s is more a slice of life, released as a single album (with four bonus tracks here) in 1972. Both records, however, contain their artist’s renditions of two of the same songs, King’s “The Stumble” and Elmore James’ “Dust My Broom.” King’s collection contains his own “Have You Ever Loved a Woman” and several more compositions written by himself and by Leon Russell, with whom he recorded in the ’70s. Allison’s album contains a couple songs he wrote, plus more classics by Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson, and B.B. King.

King’s stuff has a slightly mellower guitar sound, as he favored hollowbodies and P-90 equipped Les Pauls, while Allison was a Stratocaster man. Both are very solid albums that any fan of Chicago blues will dig.

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