B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Steve Earle Settle In Atop Charts

Blues guitarists' joint effort has been #1 in blues sales since its release.

Eric Clapton isn't currently traveling with B.B. King on the latter's festival tour, but that hasn't kept their joint album from topping the Billboard Top Blues Albums chart since it was released seven weeks ago.

Riding With the King even moves up a notch on the pop chart this week, to #10.

Currently riding with King in the just-launched B.B. King Blues Festival 2000 tour are Chicago-blues legend and incendiary guitarist Buddy Guy, along with Boston's young singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi and San Francisco club favorite Tommy Castro.

On Wednesday night in Chula Vista, Calif., an exuberant King played favorites ranging from "The Thrill Is Gone" to "Three O'Clock Blues" (RealAudio excerpt), which has a new version on Riding With the King.

"Pretend that [second guitarist] Leon Warren is Eric Clapton," King told the crowd, which didn't appear to mind the substitution.

Meanwhile, Steve Earle is still riding high on the Gavin Americana chart. His Transcendental Blues is #1 on the radio-airplay survey for the 10th straight week, as well as #25 on the Billboard country album sales chart. Mounting an offensive is Willie Nelson & the Offenders' #2 Me and the Drummer, which trades places with Live at Antone's, by Joe Ely, having dropped to #3.

Rounding out the top 10 on the Americana chart: Pat Green, Carry On, at #4; Max Stalling, whose Wide Afternoon jumps to #5 from #8; Tish Hinojosa, with Sign of Truth, moving smartly to #6 from #9; Neil Young, Silver & Gold, at #7; veterans Little Feat, debuting their Chinese Work Songs in the top 10, at #8; Nickel Creek's self-titled album dropping to #9 from #6; and Big House, Woodstock Nation, at #10.

The rest of the Top Blues Albums top 10 is Johnnie Taylor, Gotta Get The Groove Back, at #2; Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, Live On, at #3; Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Blues at Sunrise, at #4; Jonny Lang, Wander This World, at #5; Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, The Real Deal: Greatest Hits Volume 2, at #6; Etta James, Best of Etta James, at #7, switches places with Shannon Curfman's Loud Guitars, Big Suspicions, now at #10; and B.B. King, whose #8 Best of B.B. King: The Millennium Collection trades spots with Indigenous' Circle, which stands at #9.