Saturday, April 12, 2014

A to Z Challenge: King of the Blues and a look at how it is Hard to Be King: B.B. King's Recent Struggles

B.B. King is a living legend. A rock and roll hall of fame member, a blues hall of fame member, Kennedy Center Honoree, awarded a National Medal of Honor, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, 17 Grammy Awards, and he even has a Mississippi Blues Trail Marker. An impressive resume that holds up well against anyone.

Recording with U2 also helped to spread B.B, King's popularity beyond blues...

Eric Clapton helped B.B. King's career grow as well...

Of course B.B. King became  King due to his own music..

Over the years I was fortunate to see B.B. King perform life several times in venues like Wolf Trap and Constitution Hall. I even got to see him perform with John Hiatt, Jeff Beck, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

I always thought he was a brilliant storyteller. Now at 88 some of his shows have been getting less than glowing reviews. Age and ailments taking bigger tolls. When I saw him I saw how he would sit more during the show. Now reports of lost lyrics, lost musical places, and his guitar playing reduced to brief moments of brilliance. I would take a brief moment of brilliance on Lucille anyday.

This is a review from his performance last Friday from Saint Louis that was a buzz last week. This story reports of more. Sad reports to hear about this musical icon and sad reports to hear about  the blues.

Hopefully it was just a bad show. Hopefully he has a little bit more left in him. Maybe he just needs a little help. However, age is a tough thing to over come.


Julia said...

People giving him less than stellar reviews sound a bit harsh. Gee, the man is 88 and giving his fans more of what they want, performance time with a live audience, and they are complaining he is not a robust man of thirty-five. The thing is people age, and it seems like some are a bit harsh when they do. I think it is great that you respect this wonderful musician, and wrote such a tribute to him.

mike spain said...

Julia thanks for the kind words and for stopping in.