The new Corey Stevens arrived recently and without looking at the CD liner notes or the accompanying press material I simply plopped the CD in my computerís CD ROM and loaded it on my iPod. I listened to the CD the next morning and recognized something interesting. I said to my self, ďthis sounds like Albert King.Ē Then it dawned on me, the albumís name was Albertville. That should have been a give away there.
Now I live in Minnesota so I am familiar with the small town of Albertville, located on Highway 94 heading up towards St. Cloud from the Twin Cities. And I knew Corey has a strong connection with Minnesota, touring here often to a very loyal fan base as well has having his management and booking companies located here. In fact, I first met him and saw him perform here nearly a decade ago after Blue Drops of Rain came out. I think, if I remember right, that was at one of those crowded Cabooze Bar nights where people were packed in wall to wall.
So it does turn out that this album is a tribute to Albert King and all but one of the songs are tunes either written or recorded by Albert King. And as Corey states, King was one of his early musical inspirations and idols so it was appropriate for him to do this album and dedicate it to King. It came about while Stevens on tour in Minnesota a while back and passed through the small town of Albertville where the seed was first planted on doing this album.
Nice coincidence. And lucky for us that road trip took Corey through Albertville. There is a tastefulness on guitar here that I donít get to hear as often as I would like by guys who can play the heck out of a guitar. Corey, drawing on the inspiration of King, shows a reserved pace on guitar (sometimes underplaying) that was an enjoyable experience to listen to. And the accompanying support on some tracks, of keys and horns, added a very nice touch that we donít often get to hear from him.
Corey is always fun to watch and listen to playing live and this new album is a very nice addition to his discography. Recommended.