Albert King with Stevie Ray Vaughan – In Session

Albert King with Stevie Ray Vaughan
In Session
Concord – 2009
Matt Robinson

What great debts we owe to Canada! From Quebec Winter Carnival to William Shatner, the country that puts the “north” in North American has given the world some truly great things! And now, with the help of our musical friends at Concord Music Group, another gift from above has come down to us.


Recorded in 1983 in Hamilton Ontario for a show on CHCH television’s “In Session,” this live recording features two undersung guitar heroes doing what they do best. Apparently difficult to arrange, the duet comes off as easy and fluid as two generations of Bluesmen trade stories and strings through such King classics as “Stormy Monday” and “Matchbox Blues.”


Though SRV pays proper homage to the blues “King” who is truly first in his class (at least alphabetically), nodding and agreeing with pretty much everything his hero says during the intermittent spoken word breaks, and accepting King’s reserved compliments and encouragement with grace and modesty, when Albert gives “Little” Stevie a chance to play “that fast thing,” he delivers with a scorching take on his own “Pride and Joy.”


Backed by the fraternal rhythm section of Tony and Michael Llorens and Gus Thornton, Stevie and Albert have what King rightfully calls “a beautiful time.”


Though both men are gone from this planet now, we can still enjoy their musical majesty…thanks to Canada!