Blues Underground Network
The Jeff Golub Band "The Three Kings"
Jeff Golub has been in the music biz for quite a while now, but his transition from being a Jazz icon to "back to his roots as a blues-rock guitarist", is a fairly recent development, with the release of his first album for eOne Music, which was called "Blues For You". His musical career is already quite extensive with tour of duties with both Rod Stewart, which included five world tours and four albums and Billy Squier which whom he did seven albums and three world tours. Having studied at Berklee, his range of musical interests has varied from Country to Jazz, and back to Blues and Blues Rock. Notoriety for Jeff Golub's guitar work was certainly elevated with his playing days with Billy Squier, but it was his performance on the DVD "One Night Only" at the Royal Albert Hall with Rod Stewart that really got the critics taking notice of him. Now with his own band, The Jeff Golub Band, which features the piano wizard Henry Butler, Jeff brings us a stunning tribute to 3 great blues legends on a more then fittingly named album, "The Three Kings".
"The Three Kings" is a tribute album to B.B. King, Albert King, and Freddie King, whom were considered to be the "cornerstones of the modern blues revival of the 1960s", and consists of great new interpretations of some of their greatest songs, as well as, a few originals songs which were inspired from these legends. "The Three Kings" is also peppered nicely with a few instrumentals which add a wonderful uniqueness to this album.
In addition to Jeff Golub and Henry Butler, "The Three Kings" has a great lineup of other musicians, which included Andy Hess (Bass) and Josh Dion (Drums/Percussion), as part of The Jeff Golub Band and Special Guests Robben Ford, whom played guitar on track 5 "Side Tracked" and Sonny Landreth whom played Slide Guitar on track three "In Plain Sight". Added spice and kick was added to "The Three Kings" courtesy of Chris Palmaro (B3), Nick Lane (Trombone/Horn Arrangements), Rick Braun (Trumpet), Euge Groove (Tenor Sax), Dave Woodford (Baritone Sax), and Mitchell Forman (Synth Strings/String Arrangements "The Thrill Is Gone"). Background Vocals were credited to Bud Harner, Jeff Golub, Henry Butler, Andy Hess, Josh Dion, and Chris Palmaro.
"The Three Kings" consists of 13 tracks, 10 of which are the covers and 3 originals, which were inspired from the music of B.B. King, Albert King, and Freddie King and, as such, are additional tributes and homage to The Kings. Now one would think that Jeff Golub would be the main Lead Vocalists on "The Three Kings", but actually that is not the case, as he lets his tremendous Guitar skills do the talking and only pitches in as on Background Vocals. That does not however make "The Three Kings" any less enjoyable to listen to, not in the least, especially when you have the great Lead Vocals of Henry Butler and Andy Hess to entertain us on eight of the Tracks, with Henry doing Lead Vocals on five and Andy on four.
As far as being a tribute album to B.B. King, Albert King, and Freddie King, "The Three Kings" really manages to get the point across with a wonderful choice of each of the King's memorable music and really leaves you with the feeling that certainly the right songs were chosen to honor these greats.
When one goes about putting together a tribute album, it is certainly not about trying to imitate note for note, it is about re-interpreting the music of someone whom has moved you in one way or another that has lead you to a better understanding of perhaps yourself and how that persons music has changed you. As far as I am concerned, I believe that "The Three Kings" is an album that is fully able to get that point across, from Jeff Golub, Henry Butler, Robben Ford, Sonny Landreth, and all the other fine performers, whom brought the pure essence of B.B. King, Albert King, and Freddie King to the forefront, via their masterful interpretations, with perhaps the most potent being the instrumental homage to B.B. Kings "The Thrill Is Gone".
Beyond the great covers, Jeff Golub and company has also woven in three great originals of which Jeff Golub and Henry Butler wrote one each, "In Plain Sight" and "Three Kings", and co-wrote one "Stumblin' Home" along with the other two band members Andy Hess, and Josh Dion. Those three songs were not only wonderfully written, but also wonderfully performed, and therefore only adding to the exceptional music on "The Three Kings".
Each year brings out a nice crop of really good tribute albums. "The Three Kings" now joins that group with perhaps one of the best tribute albums so far for 2011.
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
1. Let The Good Times Roll 3:00
2. Born Under A Bad Sign 4:46
3. In Plain Sight 3:38
4. Help The Poor 5:42
5. Side Tracked 4:24
6. Oh Pretty Woman 4:10
7. Everyday I Have The Blues 2:36
8. Have You Ever Loved A Woman 3:44
9. I'm Tore Down 3:17
10. Freddie's Midnight Dream 4:22
11. Stumblin' Home 2:56
12. Three Kings 4:40
13. The Thrill Is Gone 4:29
Listen To Samples Here...