B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Steve Earle Keep Going

Riding With the King also faring well on the pop chart, coming in at #11 this week.

Having already shipped platinum, the B.B. King and Eric Clapton collaboration Riding With the King continues to dominate the Billboard Top Blues albums chart, ending up at #1 for the sixth straight week.

The album, which includes a new version of King's vintage "Three O'Clock Blues" (RealAudio excerpt), also continues to cruise along on the pop albums chart, remaining at #11.

Though Riding With the King represents their first studio recording together, it's far from the first time King, the American blues icon, and British blues-pop rocker Clapton have met. In his first-ever online chat Monday on America Online, Clapton recalled going to see the first appearance in New York's Greenwich Village by Blood, Sweat & Tears, at the invitation of keyboardist Al Kooper, who co-founded the N.Y.-based jazz/blues/rock band in 1967.

"B.B. came along, too," Clapton recalled, "and the two of us ended up kind of jamming after the show. After everyone had gone, we sat onstage and played [with] what was left of the house band. And played for a couple of hours.

"And that was it, really. We kind of always tried to repeat that, that situation. Whenever they were in the same town on the road or something, we'd try to get together and play."

Just as King and Clapton rule the blues chart, Steve Earle is at #1 for the ninth straight week on the Gavin Americana chart with his Transcendental Blues. Poised to challenge Earle, whose album also is #23 on the Billboard country chart, are the #2 Live at Antone's by Joe Ely and Willie Nelson & the Offenders' Me and the Drummer, which moves to #3 from #4 on the radio airplay survey this week.

Country legend Ray Price, who at 74 is still a few months younger than B.B. King, debuts on the Americana chart at #20 with Prisoner of Love (Buddha/Justice), which includes a reprise of "A Better Class of Loser" (RealAudio excerpt).

Rounding out the top 10 on the Americana chart are: Pat Green, Carry On, at #4; Neil Young, whose #5 Silver & Gold switches places with Nickel Creek's Nickel Creek at #6; Todd Snider, Happy To Be Here, at #7; Max Stalling, whose Wide Afternoon jumps to #8 from #10; Tish Hinojosa, whose Sign of Truth moves from #11 to #9; and Stacey Earle, Dancin' With Them That Brung Me, at #10.

Making up the rest of the Top Blues albums top 10 are: Johnnie Taylor, Gotta Get the Groove Back, at #2; Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, Live On, at #3, switching places with late guitar hero Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, whose Blues at Sunrise drops to #4; Jonny Lang, Wander This World, at #5; Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, The Real Deal: Greatest Hits Vol. 2, at #6; Shannon Curfman, Loud Guitars, Big Suspicions, at #7; Indigenous, Circle, at #8; B.B. King, whose Best of B.B. King: The Millennium Collection jumps to #9 from #13; and Etta James, Best of Etta James, at #10.