Monday, September 22, 2008

B.B. King knows Blues

When one thinks of B.B. King, it's hard to imagine that there were any blues artists that were around before he was for him to list as influences. B.B. King should be on hundreds of lists AS an influence! I mean, the guy's been making music for literally well over half a century, and he's still going strong. With his latest release, One Kind Favor, King covers twelve songs from other blues artists who influenced him in his early days, including Blind Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker, Lonnie Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, John Lee Hooker, and others.

In doing so, King doesn't try to make the songs he pays respect to sound modern. Instead, the album was purposefully recorded to sound as if it was born on the 50's. Everything from the backing players to studio conditions and methods were brought in to give the album an authentic period feel to it. The result - music that doesn't sound like it's forced to contort to modern music's norms. Music that feels genuine to its roots even while King adds his own touch to classics - but it's a classic touch for classic music, and not a fast-forward update to the 2000's.

Although not directly connected to this album, King was also honored earlier this month with the opening of the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, a center dedicated to exploring the deep, rich history behind King and his music in his hometown of Indianola , MS.

Over the next few months B.B. King will be touring in the eastern part of the country. Check out dates below to see one of the last remaining blues legends left. In the meantime, enjoy a few tracks from the album below, along with the original versions King is paying homage to.

B.B. King -See That My Grave Is Kept Clean (Blind Lemon Jefferson cover) : One Kind Favor

Blind Lemon Jefferson - See That My Grave Is Kept Clean : The Complete Classic Sides Remastered (Disc C)

B.B. King - My Love Is Down (Lonnie Johnson cover) : One Kind Favor

Lonnie Johnson - My Love Is Down : Complete 1937 to June 1947 Recordings, Vol. 3

Visit his website, his label Geffen Records, and become his friend on MySpace.

Upcoming Tour Dates

9/25/08 The Klein Memorial Auditorium Bridgeport , CT
9/26/08 The Bushnell Ctr. for Perf. Arts Hartford , CT
9/27/08 Sovereign Center Reading , PA
9/28/08 Paramount Center For The Arts Peekskill , NY
9/30/08 MGM Grand Detroit Casino Detroit , MI
10/02/08 Stranahan Theater Toledo , OH
10/03/08 Rialto Square Theatre Joliet , IL
10/04/08 SIU Arena Carbondale, IL
10/05/08 Welk Resort Theatre Branson, MO
10/07/08 Century II Perf. Arts & Convention Ctr. Wichita , KS ,
10/17/08 Route 66 Casino Albuquerque, NM
10/23/08 Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino Mescalero, NM
10/25/08 Boulder Theater Boulder, CO
10/29/08 Iowa State Center Ames , IA ,
10/31/08 The Riverside Theatre Milwaukee , WI
11/14/08 Riverwind Casino Norman , OK
11/16/08 Meyerson Symphony Center Dallas , TX
11/18/08 American Bank Center Corpus Christi , TX
11/24/08 The Tabernacle Atlanta , GA
11/26/08 Birchmere Alexandria , VA
11/28/08 North Shore Music Theatre Beverly , MA ,
11/29/08 House of Blues - Atlantic City Atlantic City , NJ
11/30/08 Durham Performing Arts Center Durham , NC
12/01/08 Maryland Theatre Hagerstown , MD

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