When I was in high school I remember talking to a fellow student about the Grateful Dead. Fillmore East 2/11/69 had been released by that point and we were talking about the release and the songs on it.
I remember thinking “WTF?” when he said, “Yeah, and that I’m A King Bee“. Don’t get me wrong I like the Pigpen blues numbers, and have certainly gained a deeper appreciation of them in the years since high school, but I remember not being excited by the song. At. All.
Well, on a whim, looking for something to write about and trying to keep the variety of this project in tact, I decided to give King Bee another try. Ladies and Gentlemen is one of my favorite releases so I figured that would be a good place to start. You know what? I really liked what I heard. I hadn’t given King Bee a close listen, well probably ever, and doing so now with the aforementioned deeper appreciation of Pigpen’s blues probably helped. I’m sure the multi-track recording didn’t hurt, but man this number just rocks. I really like the deep southern blues vibe that they channel here. That’s what really sold it for me – that ability to conjure another style while still maintaining the “Deadness” of it all.