Combining late-'60s sides by Al King and Arthur K. Adams -- recorded separately by Kings and Adams as solo artists, not together as a duo -- onto one CD might seem a little awkward. It does pretty much make sense for a bunch of reasons, however. Not the least of them is that since King's the billed artist on a dozen of the 22 tracks, and Adams (whether as a solo artist, part of the duo Arthur & Mary, or a duet partner with Edna Wright) on ten, it's better value to combine their work of the era in one disc. In addition, both artists recorded for the Kent and Modern labels, and Adams even plays on the cuts by King, who (unlike every other noted bluesman named King) was not a guitarist. Finally, both of them were laying down the sort of California blues-soul sound which the Modern label was often issuing in the late '60s, though it wasn't a regional blues mini-genre destined to make a major impact, either commercially or artistically. These are for the part pleasantly upbeat if journeyman recordings, lacking as much bite in the vocal or instrumental department as the best practitioners of the style, such as B.B. King, who of course had long been one of Modern's biggest stars before moving to a different label. While there are fairly strong similarities between the work of Al King and Adams as heard on this CD, the sides by Adams have the edge as they're markedly leaner and meaner, though similarly lacking killer tunes. More soul-oriented, and (if just slightly) more pop-influenced than much blues of the period, this CD includes eight previously unreleased items, though these include a long version, a backing track, and some alternates.
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger
feat: Edna Wright
feat: Arthur & Mary