B.B. reaches for the blues.
Review and Photos by Terry MayerAsk someone on the street which artist they think of when you say "the blues" and most likely they will say B.B. King. Muddy Waters brought the blues to the heart. John Lee Hooker brought the blues to the soul. B.B. King brought the blues to the masses.
The Riverside was decorated with the salty licks from B.B.'s longtime mistress, Lucille (his ever faithful guitar), a crack back-up band that put some eloquence in the simple chord arrangements and a bus full of attitude. The minute he walked onto the stage, you could feel his regal presence turn the walls purple. B.B.'s expression was one of confidence and quiet amusement as he sauntered slowly to his chair in the center of the stage and caressed Lucille until she sang out with a howling delight. In his mid 70s, King informed the crowd, "The band told me I have the right to sit down if I want to, and I want to." Dressed in a glittery reflective tux, King sat down and lit the night sky blue with "Let The Good Times Roll," during which his facial expressions contorted with every note change. Like a Picasso whose colors ran and the redemptive qualities of sound was discovered. Expressive and emotive, King explained in a different language why "The Thrill Is Gone." "You Gotta Love Somebody" bled like a heart losing it's first love.
Life's heartaches and the concept of a simple existence branded it's humanity into every quivering note. King's magic showed us that the blues are more than simple three chord exercises, but real emotions and experiences that connect the soul to the past.
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