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Ain’t No Sunshine by Freddie King

Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine” was a lamentation, detailing the anguish and sorrow felt when one is forced to face the newly found void in one’s life after love is lost. But Freddie King’s version had an added hint of anger, and even contempt. This rendition of the now classic sees Withers’ original song reincarnated as a groovy, yet angsty serenade.

First and foremost, he introduces the band that accompanied him for years and helped create the beautiful sound we associate with Freddie King today. Band members included David Maxwell and Freddie’s own younger brother Benny Turner on bass. Recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival Switzerland on June 29, 1973, this is slow, electric 12-bar blues, has few frills, but so much feeling, the way the blues are meant to be played, and felt. 

Freddie King was one of the great three kings of the blues, and he is unsurprisingly  most known for his inimitable guitar skills, but Freddie King’s voice is also a mellifluous one, with a set of pipes enviable by many. It is a true delight to see Freddie intoxicated with the music, in an almost rapturous ecstasy of the melody. He played every note as if it was the last thing he was ever going to do, feeling every single one of them right down to the marrow in his bones, and you can feel all his past loves and future heartaches captured in that moment. Take it all in, folks!


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