John Mayall, the Godfather of British Blues , returns with the Bluesbreakers for his latest studio album In The Palace Of The King. This new album is John's tribute to one of his blues heroes, the late, great Freddie King. King was a blues guitar pioneer from the mid-50's through to his tragically early death in the mid-70's and he influenced everyone from Peter Green to Dave Edmunds to Stevie Ray Vaughan and probably most of all Eric Clapton, who produced and played on King's final album. In The Palace Of The King features John Mayall's take on his personal selection of Freddie King favorites and is a fabulous combination of two true blues legends.
The 56th album by the 73-year-old godfather of British blues is a tribute to one of his major influences, the late Texas-born guitarist Freddie King. It's also a nod to current Bluesbreakers picker Buddy Whittington, an underrated pyrotechnician who follows a long line of distinguished six-string Mayall sidemen that includes Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Coco Montoya, and Walter Trout. Whittington measures up, recreating the terse energy of King's biting, blunt phrasing on the legend's classic "Going Down" and the swinging "You Know That You Love Me." And he puts his own grinding, slashing brand on the riff 'n' rip guitar of "The Palace of the King," a biographical tune Don Nix, Leon Russell, and Duck Dunn wrote for King. Guest guitarist Robben Ford lends his own instrumental King homage, "Cannonball Shuffle," but it's Mayall's piano-led "King of the Kings" that's most touching. Singing in his arcing, high voice, slightly thinned by age, Mayall explains how King influenced him and his Bluesbreakers, showing Clapton, Green, and Taylor "all the licks to play," and concludes that he's "Got the blues for Mr. Freddie/Sorry that you had to go." --Ted Drozdowski