Track 9 from Plaid On Flannel's 2013 album Vol. II: Mission Of Mercy
Performed and produced by Nolan Randall
Mixed and mastered by Hector Viola
Words and music by Nolan Randall
By the time they heard Bessie
They didn't know what would later arrive
Even when they heard Broonzy
They didn't think it could ever survive
Why should ya care when you're still luxuriating?
Maybe another time when you're in your prime,
You'll wanna hear the words of the Lightnin' King
Never heard of no Patton
He was not really a house-hold name
Of course you've heard of Clapton
He was recognized for his own fame
Why should ya dare? To you it's not fascinating
You'll follow the pack but when you get back
Make sure you give a listen to the Lightnin' King
Didn't care about Muddy
He didn't get the credit he deserved
Never listened to Buddy
All you had to do was try to observe
Why should ya stare when you're busy glamorizing?
You're out in space, cut to the chase
You must embrace the notes played by
The Lightnin' King, Lightnin' King
So many guys named Johnson
We all know who had the biggest impact
The power of the Howlin' was something
I couldn't help but react
Why should you bare a cross that's misunderstanding?
The rhythm's so tight and the tone is so bright
You might as well ride with the Lightnin' King
Lightnin' King, Lightnin' King
Lightnin' King, Lightnin' King
© Copyright 2013 Plaid On Flannel
*Song Description By Noles*
I wrote the music for "Lightnin' King" on February 14, 2013. It's in my favourite key of A. That's the key my voice is most comfortable singing in. And when it comes to guitar, the key of A is a sweet spot for riffs and solos. The guitar riff for "Lightnin' King" is played throughout the verses of the song. The chord changes and movements in "Lightnin' King" were influenced by Led Zeppelin's "Custard Pie". After producing 14 songs for the Mission Of Mercy album, I began recording "Lightnin' King" on March 6, 2013. While it's a pure blues rock and roll song, there's a traditional piano played during the entire tune. This piano does a variety of different things over the course of "Lightnin' King". From arpeggios to trills.
The lyrics for "Lightnin' King" were written on March 11, 2013. When I realized how much of a traditional blues rock song it was going to be, I decided to write lyrics about some of the key blues legends that have inspired me as a musician. But the real purpose in the lyrics of "Lightnin' King" was to address the ignorance the modern music community has towards many of the most important and influential musicians of all time. Some people who listen to uninspiring and bland pop music don't even know that blues laid down the foundation for all popular music that followed. I have a deep respect for the forefathers of popular music in the 20th century. And I'm a geek for the blues genre in general. I have studied the style and history of blues extensively. I even hosted a radio show in college called Bytown Blues School. For the song "Lightnin' King", I made up a fictional title character. Which is a combination between Lightnin' Hopkins and the 3 Kings. Those Kings being B.B., Freddie & Albert. Other blues musicians referenced in "Lightnin' King" are Muddy Waters, Charley Patton, Big Bill Broonzy, Eric Clapton, Bessie Smith, Howlin' Wolf, Buddy Guy, Robert Johnson, & Blind Willie Johnson. The lyrics to "Lightnin' King" intend to bring awareness to those artists' legacies for music fans that might not have heard of them before.
Outside of the main guitar riff in "Lightnin' King", there are 2 other guitar riffs in the song. One after the 2nd chorus, and another after the 1st guitar solo. These guitar riffs repeat phrases played in the A minor pentatonic scale. The 1st guitar solo in "Lightnin' King" is a tough one to play. The end of this guitar solo is one of the best guitar moments I've had throughout the Plaidalog. I refer to this part as "blues shredding". Here's a video of me performing that guitar solo... https://youtu.be/wTWNuAdWXb4 The 2nd guitar solo also has a high energy and is concluded abruptly as the song ends. The lead vocals in "Lightnin' King" use a lot of call and response during the "Lightnin' King" phrases of the song. Moving all over from the left and right sides of the stereo mix. There are also 3-part vocal harmonies in different sections of "Lightnin' King". I finished recording "Lightnin' King" on March 15, 2013, and the entire Mission Of Mercy album was released on May 20, 2013. I've never played "Lightnin' King" with a band. It's a song I want to keep exclusive to the Mission Of Mercy album. "Lightnin' King" is a blues history lesson, and it was never meant to be played live.