BENNY TURNER - MY BROTHER'S BLUES
Tribute To Freddie King
Album-length tributes to blues greats of decades past are nothing new, but this collection is truly special. It s one legendary brother paying tribute to another, who just happens to be one of the greatest bluesmen of all time. Freddie King and Benny Turner paid their dues on the road together at a time when simply traveling from one gig to the next could prove perilous to life and limb, and they emerged victorious, creating blues for the ages.
Benny learned his blues right alongside his immensely powerful older sibling. He played rock-solid bass for him during Freddie s early days in the rough-and-tumble blues joints of Chicago s West Side, where an aggressive new electric guitar-dominated style was formulating with Freddie and Magic Sam forcefully leading the way. Following a few years of backing other luminaries in the soul and gospel field, Benny was there beside Freddie once again throughout the glory years of the 70s, when King toured the globe, hobnobbed with rock royalty onstage and off, and fully assumed his regal place as one of the greatest blues guitarists of all time.
After all those glorious years of sharing stages big and small, dealing endless hands of poker while their tour bus criss-crossed every nook and cranny of the country, and experiencing the kind of familial closeness that only blood brothers can know, you'd best believe that Benny grasps what made Freddie tick like no one else. This collection is a loving homage to the power, grace, and unbelievable intensity of a true blues master. But rest assured that it s no slavish recreation of the original masterpiece recordings. This CDs cover art is loaded with symbolism. Benny wears a top hat in tribute to his own singular sartorial tastes when he stood beside Freddie nightly onstage. The armadillo that bursts from Benny's guitar (the highly distinctive red Gibson model that Freddie preferred, natch) comes courtesy of famed artist Jim Franklin, whose amazing posters for the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin (one of Kings favorite 70s venues) have taken on legendary proportions. The order of the CDs selections is significant too: Big Legged Woman opens, just as it did on Freddie's set list (except for the one time Benny replaced it with Its Your Move, so it comes next here). And Benny sings an extra verse of Youve Got To Love Her With A Feeling, just the way Freddie did it onstage, that was deemed a little too earthy to include on Kings 1960 hit version. Throughout, Benny does his big brother s songbook proud. (excerpts from liner notes written by Bill Dahl)