B.B. King: See That My Grave is Kept Clean
See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
B.B. King (guitar, vocals)
One Kind Favor (Geffen)
Jay Bellerose (drums, percussion), Nathan East (acoustic bass), Mike Elizondo (electric bass), Johnny Lee Schell (guitar), Neil Larsen (organ).
Composed by Blind Lemon Jefferson.
Recorded: Los Angeles, no date given (CD released in 2008)
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
B.B. King may have been born in 1925, but his blues rarely reminds listeners of the really old 1920s blues. He is a modernist who runs his music off electricity, and is something of a dynamo himself. But here King resurrects a very old song, almost as old as B.B. himself. Blind Lemon Jefferson recorded "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" back in 1927, and this song is about as old school as blues can get. King and producer T Bone Burnett skillfully update Jefferson's tune, giving it a pseudo-Latin beat, and adding a slick organ part that nicely underscores King's electric guitar lines. King's vocal is more understated than usual, but perfectly suited to the sober sentiments of the lyrics. After so many projects that have tried to make King into a rock or R&B icon, it is refreshing to hear him return to these early blues roots.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia