The phrase "very best of" in an album title usually indicates a highly selective collection of an artist's career highlights. By that standard, Collectables Records' The Very Best of Freddy King, Vol. 2 should be called something else; a more accurate description of the contents would be "The Complete Freddy King on Federal Records, Vol. 2." That's because this is the second of three discs that present every recording King made for the King Records subsidiary Federal in chronological order. It picks up at the end of a July 25, 1961, session and continues through November 29, 1962. King enjoyed considerable chart success throughout 1961, but the hits stopped coming after that. This album finds him trying different approaches to meet the marketplace. "Sittin' on the Boondock," cut January 10, 1962, betrays the influence of Lee Dorsey's fall 1961 hit "Ya Ya"; there are four duets with Federal labelmate Lula Reed and even one song, "Your Love Keeps A-Working on Me," sung by Reed alone; and there are numbers with titles that use the words bossa nova and twist (and even one called "The Bossa Nova Watusi Twist") in an attempt to cash in on fads. It was all unavailing and, happily, on his November 1962 sessions King finally returned to more of a straight blues approach. Blues fans will respond most strongly to the final seven tracks on the album, which display his undiminished authority as a blues guitarist. While not nearly as impressive a set as the first volume in the series, this one still has enough good blues playing to make it worth adding to one's blues collection.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann