Albert King With Stevie Ray Vaughan
In Session ... (Stax)
Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., Dec. 3, 2010
Albert King With Stevie Ray VaughanIn Session ... (Stax)
This 1983 performance used Canadian TV as a classroom, putting Albert King with prize student Stevie Ray Vaughan for a meaty session of Southern blues. First released on CD in 1999, In Session ... represented the auspicious meeting of generations, a passing of the blues flame. The 2010 reissue bookends it with an almost-90-minute DVD of the performance, including a trio of tracks not on the CD. King was near the end of a 50-plus-year reign as a master guitarist, a tall, imposing man who wielded a Flying V like a royal scepter to generations of acolytes. Here, he's chatty and hits every note with veteran grace. Vaughan, the young blues buck, is green and grinning, anticipating each of the Mississippi bluesman's licks, respectfully matching him note for note ("Born Under a Bad Sign," "Don't Lie to Me") while injecting his own florid style ("Texas Flood," "Pride and Joy"). The local Strat slinger studied for that moment through years of playing at the One Knite and Soap Creek, standing in the original Antone's glued to the side of the stage as the mighty King imprinted electric Delta blues. Unadorned and without frills (or extras), In Session ... is the perfect vintage snapshot, and wouldn't Vaughan be thrilled to have a release on Stax!