Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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B.B. King & Bobby Bland

  • Together for the First Time . . . Live [ABC/Dunhill, 1974] B+

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Together for the First Time . . . Live [ABC/Dunhill, 1974]
This is my kind of exploitation--a commercial gimmick that gets two masters back to their form. An honorable document it is, too, especially Bland's part. King's voice and guitar have both been more searing, the latter within recent memory, and though I'd rather hear him singing familiar old blues than mediocre new pop, the classic material does resist renewal, which is why he and Bland do so much pop these days. Sometimes, too, the joking interaction sounds a little uncomfortable--almost as if they're rivals or something. B+