Blues in My Heart

B.B. King

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Blues in My Heart Review

by Richie Unterberger

It's been speculated that Blues in My Heart was recorded in late 1961 right before B.B. King left Modern for ABC, possibly with everything getting cut in one session. If that was the case, it might account for the grind-it-out feel of these ten small-combo sides (probably with Plas Johnson on sax and Maxwell Davis on keyboards), which are lacking in noteworthy songs, with the possible exception of "Downhearted" (aka "How Blue Can You Get?"). King, of course, brings committed singing and playing to the session; he was too much of a pro to give anything less than that to everything he did in the studio back then. Even by the adjusted standards of King's brand of urban blues, however, these songs just sound too similar to each other to rate among his better work, often sticking to a slow to midtempo shuffle and nearly identical chord progressions. Fact is, when "Troubles Don't Last" follows "Got 'Em Bad," the arrangement's so similar that at first you're wondering whether it's "Got 'Em Bad, Pt. 2" (though it isn't). "Downhearted" does have a renowned if slightly cruel lyric, though, especially when King changes to a stuttering tempo and complains, "I gave you seven children/And now you want to give them back!" Still, even that particular song was done more memorably on King's famous concert album Live at the Regal a few years later. Note that the version of "Got 'Em Bad" is different from the one that came out on a Kent single in 1965, which added a Maxwell Davis piano overdub.

blue highlight denotes track pick