How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Last summer I attended a disappointing B.B. King concert in which the blues legend spent most of the show talking instead of playing. Fortunately he plays and sings wonderfully on this release, his best since Blues Summit. B.B. finally lets his excellent road musicians strut their stuff live in a studio setting, with no overdubs and no high-tech tricks. "I'll Survive" stands with his best tunes. The rest of the CD features 14 fast, slow, and mid-tempo blues originals. Even the strings sound appropriate. Lucille and B.B. are as soulful as ever, and the three-piece horn section led by trumpeter James Bolden is top-flight. Most impressive is James Sells Toney's terrific organ and piano playing. Blues on the Bayou is a fine release from the single most influential blues guitarist in history.