Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

B.B. King: Live at The Regal

Live At The Regal (1965) by B.B. King, is regarded as one of the greatest blues albums ever recorded.

Preserved in the Library Of Congress in the National Recording Registry, Live At The Regal captures B.B. King in his absolute prime, singing in his unmistakable voice and playing his trusty Lucille with that golden touch that was his trademark.

B.B. could say more with one note than most guitarists could in an entire show.

His vibrato and phrasing were on another level of beauty, and he knew just where to place each note for maximum effect.

Live At The Regal features such King classics as How Blue Can You Get, Every Day I Have The Blues, Woke Up This Mornin’, Please Love Me, Sweet Little Angel, and It’s My Own Fault.

The band is exceptional, too…horn section included! B.B. King earned his title of “King Of The Blues” and if you have any doubts, just check out this legendary recording.

On this Day in History

On this date in history, 9/14/1984, I met a legend! I was in Los Angeles visiting a friend who lived there are that time. We went so some local country club to see B.B. King and it was my first time to witness the man and the lovely Lucille.
So many amazing memories of this show are imprinted in my consciousness…the band played a couple of songs by themselves before B.B. joined them on stage and they were fantastic. B.B.’s other guitar player was incredible, playing a very jazz influenced blues style, but once the King was up there, all attention was on him.
Most singers sing directly into the microphone, but B.B. often sang with his face about a foot away from it, and his voice just boomed out of him; that deep, rich, earthy tone that was born to sing the blues.

B.B. King – Sweet Little Angel (Live)

Then there was the tone of Lucille…oh, my my! I fell instantly in love with that sound and with the subtlety and minimalism of his playing. Every note perfectly placed, every phrase having just the right flow!
After they were done, we stayed and got to talk briefly to B.B. and the band. I shook hands with him and told him that I play guitar and didn’t want to wash my hand until some of his tone sunk into my soul. He smiled and maybe chuckled a little. Who can say how many white boys said a variation of the same words to him throughout his career?
There was a dignity and a warmth that radiated off of B.B. King. I don’t believe he had quite attained the mythical status he achieved in the last 20 years of his life, but he was certainly on course for it, and a lot of us guitar players already knew. He was the King of the Blues and I shook his hand and made him smile. I’m smiling right now…RIP B.B. King.
Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Day in History

On this date in history, 9/10/2000,the blues came to Deer Creek. B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Susan Tedeschi and Corey Harris held a blues seminar that was simply sublime.

As you may guess, this was a pretty special show! I believe we arrived right before Susan Tedeschi started her set. She was really good, with a soulful heat permeating her passionate delivery.

Speaking of heat, things heated up considerably when Buddy Guy took the stage. He played and sang like a man possessed, and maybe he was…possessed by the spirit of the blues.

After Buddy’s intense set, B.B. King came out and held serve! Although he was seated for his performance, time had yet to diminish the King’s powerful voice, and of course, Lucille sang with magic all her own.

The sweet sounds the man conjured out of that guitar were some of the best tones ever heard in any form of music. I wish that Buddy and B.B. would have jammed together, but that is a minor complaint in an otherwise perfect night of blues mastery!

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

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