The mid-to-late Sixties was a strange and difficult time for many Blues men - most were without contracts, forgotten and under-appreciated. Then the Blues boom happened (particularly in the UK) and many had their careers kick-started all over again. Freddie King was no exception. His last album had been for Federal in 1964, but with a new lease of life on the mighty Atlantic label, he produced two much revered LPs in rapid succession. The first was "Freddie King Is A Blues Master" released in 1969 on SD 9004 - and then this peach - "My Feeling For The Blues" on Cotillion SD 9016 released in early 1970.
Similar to his first Shelter outing (Getting Ready), but with more of a rock feel. That's due as much to the material as the production. Besides covering tunes by Jimmy Rogers, Howlin' Wolf, and Elmore James, King tackles compositions by Leon Russell and, more unexpectedly, Bill Withers, Isaac Hayes-David Porter, and John Fogerty (whose "Lodi" is reworked into "Lowdown in Lodi"). King's own pen remained virtually in retirement, as he wrote only one of the album's tracks.
Produced in part by Mike Vernon, who worked on The Legendary Christine Perfect Album, this is an entertaining and concise package of ten songs performed by the late Freddie King and a slew of guests. Opening with Gonzalez Chandler's "Pack It Up," featuring the Gonzalez Horn Section, the youthful legend was only 40 years of age when he cut this career LP two years before his death. Though no songs went up the charts like his Top Five hit in 1961, "Hide Away," Burglar is one of those gems that journeymen can put together in their sleep. Tom Dowd produced "Sugar Sweet" at Criteria Studios in Miami, FL, featuring Jamie Oldaker on drums, Carl Radle on bass, and guitarists Eric Clapton and George Terry, which, of course, makes this album highly collectable in the Clapton circles. The sound doesn't deviate much from the rest of the disc's Mike Vernon production work; it is pure Freddy King, like on the final track, E. King's "Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)," where his guitar bursts through the horns and party atmosphere, creating a fusion of the pure blues found on "Sugar Sweet" and the rock that fans of Grand Funk grooved to when he opened for that group and was immortalized in their 1973 number one hit "We're an American Band" a year after this record's release.
King's last Shelter album was his most elaborately produced, with occasional string arrangements and female backups vocals, although these didn't really detract from the net result. Boasting perhaps heavier rock elements than his other Shelter efforts, it was characteristically divided between blues standards (by the likes of Willie Dixon and Elmore James), Leon Russell tunes, and more R&B/soul-inclined material by the likes of Ray Charles and Percy Mayfield.