Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Jeff Golub Band Featuring: Henry Butler - The Three Kings


Albert, B.B. and Freddie.  The trinity forms the foundation of modern day guitar-based blues and rock.  Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Johnny Winters, Joe Perry, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Johnny Lang, Joe Bonamassa, just to mention a few, all prayed at the three Kings’ altar.  They learned their riffs, sang their songs and added their own special flair to such classic blues numbers as “Let The Good Times Roll,” “Born Under A Bad Sign.” “Have You Ever Loved A Woman,” “Everyday I Have The Blues,” “I’m Torn Down” and “The Thrill Is Gone.”

Now it is Jeff Golub’s turn to pay tribute to the legends of the blues with his album release entitled The Three Kings. Golub, best known as a sideman for Billy Squier on 7 albums and 3 world tours from 1980 until 1988, and Rod Stewart on 4 albums and 5 world tours from 1988 until 1995, got his chops emulating  Clapton, Beck and Hendrix, and their inspirations - Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, and “The Three Kings” - Albert King, B.B. King and Freddie King.  Golub also learned to play contemporary jazz, the subject of most of his eleven solo albums. After hearing a Wes Montgomery album, he enrolled at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass where he played with the James Montgomery Band.

Many tribute recordings fall short due to the need to “measure up.”.  There is the inevitable comparison to the original recordings.  In the case of The Three Kings there is also the inevitable comparison to sensational copies of the originals by some of the best musicians of the past 75 years.  Yet, Golub pulls it off.  This is one hot expression of gratitude, respect and admiration to Albert, B.B. and Freddie.  To help ensure success Golub invited Guitar God Robben Ford to play on Freddie King’s classic “Side Tracked” and world class slide guitarist Sonny Landreth to play on Golub’s one original song on the album, “In Plain Sight.”

Not all of the songs on album were written or performed by The Three Kings, although the majority were and the remainder, save Golub’s original and “Three Kings,” an original by featured pianist Henry Butler, are standards.  Butler is another stroke of genius added to the mix.  He is a New Orleans jazz icon who actually opened for B.B. King. Golub puts Butler’s piano and vocal talents to good use on “Let The Good Times Roll,” “Born Under A Bad Sign,” “Have You Ever Loved A Woman,” “Three Kings” and “Oh, Pretty Woman.”

Golub’s band also features Andy Hess on bass and Josh Dion on drums and percussion (and vocals on “Help The Poor,” “Everyday I Have The Blues” and “I’m Torn Down.”) The sound is rounded out by a B3 Hammond organ played by Chris Palmaro and a horn section consisting of Nick Lane, Rick Braun, Euge Groove and Dave Woodford.

If you love the blues of Kings you will love Jeff Golub’s The Three Kings.

- Old School

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