The contemporary blues album by the 'old guard' of untouchable blues musicians is, sadly, often a mixed bag. For example, and believe me, I absolutely love Buddy Guy, but I'd wish he'd record an album without 1001 guest stars.
Fortunately, B.B King shows them all how it's done. Similar in vibe and feel to Solomon Burke's (equally brilliant) "Don't Give Up On Me", this record is a joy right from the start. In T Bone Burnett, King has a producer who knows exactly what's needed to nail the right sound, song after song. Couple that with Jim Keltner on drums, Dr John on keys and Nathan East on bass and you have the backing-band from heaven - because they know exactly what to play without overshadowing King. The arrangements are classic, and the musicianship is impressive.
And as for Blues Boy? Rest assured, firing on all cylinders. There's a ton of wonderful guitar playing here, which is as glorious and impassioned as ever. In that regard he stands alone. Equally, the vocals as deep as always; warm, rich and forever commanding.
This is a lovely album, with some very well chosen classic songs (highlights are "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" and "Sitting On Top Of The World" for my money). It's the coolest blues album in ages, and well worth checking out.