Maximum Rhythm and Blues

Thursday, January 10, 2013

B.B. King - Live in Cook County Jail (1971)

Folkers, folkers, folkers.  What's up folkers?  Jeff the Intern here, back after a brief holiday hiatus, when the internet shuts down and people go back to doing whatever the hell it is that they did before the internet was a thing.  

I know most of you have probably been pretty bummed, dare I say blue, over the lack of meaningful content posted here recently.  But never fear, B.B. King and his old girl Lucille are here to demonstrate just how blue you can get.

Recorded live in Cook County jail, during the halcyon days of 1971, this is an incredibly soulful set.  Like Johnny Cash's Live at Folsom Prison, there is something pretty stirring about a mainstream artist performing in front of a bunch of prisoners.  It really brings out the best in both groups.  B.B. King holds Lucille high on his chest, and coaxes out some really heart-rendering wails.  But I was even more impressed with King as a vocalist.  He belts these tunes.  The prisoners are a game audience, they serve almost as a set of background vocalists, their cheers and applause seem to season the down and out jams.

Highlights include the stop-time interlude three quarters of the way through "How Blue Can You Get?", the "3 O'Clock Blues" medley, and extended jam on "Worry, Worry."  Get this one while it's hot folks, who knows how long it will last.  



  2. I figured our resident Creative Writing major would be a little more original, but no, instead he has to steal catchphrases from a high schooler. Folk you Jeff.

  3. I loved this album and thought that it was super good! It was the first King album that I listen to! You can find it on my blog at