The King Brothers – Get Up And Shake It
Club Savoy Entertainment Group CD10001
10 songs – 54 minutes
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area, The King Brothers are a pair of real-life siblings who’ve been delivering the blues from their own perspective for the past 60 years. As Get Up And Shake It — the third album in their catalog – demonstrates, they have a relaxed unhurried approach that will please fans of traditional urban blues.
“It’s danceable, it’s rock-flavored, funk-flavored and gospel-flavored,” says Lee King, who handles lead vocal and guitar chores. “I don’t know a damn thing about picking cotton. I don’t drink whiskey. I don’t dip snuff. I don’t fit any of those bluesman stereotypes.”
Brother Sam, who provides drums and backing vocals, would agree that, like Lee says, “I do blues the way I feel it.”
Despite their approach, though, the brothers are members of one of the blues legendary Three Kings dynasty. They’re second cousins to Freddie King and considered Albert to be an uncle. Both brothers toured with their superstar relations, and Lee also did service time behind Ike and Big Joe Turner, too. Albert actually gifted his flying-V guitar, Lucy – the axe commissioned by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, to Lee about 25 years ago.
Get Up And Shake It features a collection of three originals and seven covers in a comfortable package that includes Ellis Hall on keyboards, Al Threats on bass and Michael Fell on harmonica. While several of the covers are old warhorses – like Muddy Waters’ familiar “Rock Me Baby,” they come across with a fresh feel.
The original, “Just Driving Around,” follows. It’s a bluesy instrumental with a jazz feel. “Hound Dog,” the Big Mama Thornton/Elvis Presley hit written by Lieber and Stoller, precedes a take on “Hootchie Cootchie Man,” a retitled – adding the “t”s – version of the Waters hit penned by Willie Dixon.
The pleasing blues original “Just The Way I Like It” features Lee in a tune that compliments a lady’s style of loving. It’s delivered atop a propulsive drumbeat. Two more covers — Bobby Rush’s “Blind Snake” and Dixon’s “Close To You” — precede the original instrumental “Get Up And Shake It” before two Freddie King standards — “Bigg Legged Woman” and “Tore Down” – bring the action to a close.
Available through all major online retailers, Get Up And Shake It doesn’t cut any new ground, but would be a pleasant addition to the library of anyone who loves his blues funky.