Music Review

Book Reviews and Reading Diary
CD Buying Guide and Music Links
Best-of lists
CD Reviews
CDs, sorted by Style
CDs, sorted by year issued
CDs, sorted by publication review ran in
CDs by San Diego bands
All CDs, sorted by band name
All CDs, sorted by album title
Favorite quotations
Contact Me

Despite miscues, live set still a winner

Rainin' in California
Rainin' in California
By Albert King

Wolf Records: 1994

Buy it on CD now from
Buy it now

This review first appeared in the Summer 1994 edition of Blues Revue Quarterly magazine (now Blues Revue).

This import from Austria's Wolf Records features a 1983 live set in Long Beach, Calif.

It's an interesting band playing behind King: drums, organ, piano and trumpet. Not your everyday blues combo.

As with most Wolf releases, this is a dearth of information. Where in Long Beach was this recorded? Who knows, it's not in the liner booklet.

There is also a questionable cut included. While there are nine songs on the CD, coming in at right about 45 minutes total, the first song is only the band – no Albert King. And that's more than 7 minutes long, or about one-sixth of the total CD. It's a good band and a nice performance, but you're paying to hear Albert King, not a backing band.

But the recording quality is outstanding, especially for a "live" set. If you want to check out King in that setting, you'll enjoy this album. His guitar playing and singing are in top form, he's backed by a solid band, and there's a good selection of material not usually associated with King – covers of "The Sky is Crying," "I'll Play the Blues for You" and "Kansas City," among others.