Albert King - guitar, vocals; Unknown backing band
Standing at 6'4", Albert King - also known as "The Velvet Bulldozer" - was the first great blues musician to ever play the Fillmores, so it is fitting that he join the festivities on the Fillmore East's closing night.
King's influence can be easily recognized in the playing of many of the great 1960s rock guitarists, particularly Mike Bloomfield, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. His unorthodox techniques and tunings influenced countless others over the years, notably Stevie Ray Vaughan, whose slower blues numbers directly reflect a deep respect for Albert King.
By 1971, King was widely accepted as a primary innovator of modern blues, and his late 60s output for Stax Records had earned him a substantially larger audience than many of his contemporaries. Although his recorded output often reflected the changes in modern music, in performance he stayed relatively close to his blues roots.
This set reflects a particularly interesting time in his career. This performance showcases King's traditional roots as well as his open-minded interest in contemporary music. Of particular note is his early 1960's Stax classic "Crosscut Saw." You may notice a striking similarity to Cream's "Strange Brew," which is essentially Clapton covering King's solo from this song.