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B.B. King - Riding With The King (with Eric Clapton)

By Ty Young
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
June 28, 2000
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Three and a half stars

Featuring two legends of the music world and arguably two of the most talented guitarists in history, the potential of Riding With The King is only limited by the anticipation and high expectations of fans.

While the album brings together King and Clapton, there is something missing - the innovative and unparalleled guitar work that has led to both musicians fame.

Fans of King and Clapton will be disappointed to hear only one extended guitar trip for each performer. Although their complementing rhythms and licks flow well together, age seems to have taken the steam out of the 74 year old King's hands. While each note hits true and deep, they are far less than typical King riffs.

The aging Clapton still provides intense, melodic licks as he brings out some of his best work. Still, he seems modest and a bit apprehensive playing alongside one of his boyhood heroes.

While their guitar work does not live up to their past accomplishments, the two, King especially, sing emotional, heart-felt testimonies in their typical style.

King's voice steals the show on "Ten Long Years," and "Marry You," both remakes of his own songs. Clapton, singing in a typical, gentlemanly tone, seems a bit stoic.

On John Hiatt's "Riding with the King," King's ageless bellow combined with Clapton's rough tenor displays the two musicians' best work.

For the average music fan, based in popular and alternative radio, this album will be a complete waste of time or a window into a new era.

For King and Clapton fans, however, this album can only be judged by one's personal expectations of these great talents playing in the same studio.

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