From Little Richard's label, here's a 1972 blues-rock album whose liner notes inform you that "you'll soon know why they call that place the high desert!" King's vocals are in a Beefheart-out-of-Howlin' Wolf mode, with Beefheart's high squeals and some very deep grunts and laughter. This is a very funny record, whether King is growling nonsensical gibberish on "Bottle Blues," proclaiming that he does "Lucille" better than Little Richard, or working the double meaning of "Boogie Man." Along with Beefheart, King makes me absolutely certain that this is the most apt vocal style for this type of music. Listen to King and realize that all those hard rock guys just don't have a clue. The album features cool harmonica and really hot slide guitar (courtesy of ex-Beefheart sideman Alex St. Claire.) The rhythm section is stellar too: check out the awesome bass line on "Sunday Driver". My pick hit is "Desert Sand," which starts with a lovely tapped-fretboard riff, has a wah-wah/slide guitar battle for a solo, and just plain feels like its title in a windstorm. You'll probably read about a hundred blues-rock albums here in the Archives. Most of them are full of fuzz guitar, freaky lyrics and psychedelic production tricks, but trust me, not a one of them is as good as this.
Denny King - Evil Wind is Blowing (1972)