Tuesday, November 20, 2007

More BB

The Times-Tribune (Penn): "WILKES-BARRE — The King of the Blues was in the house at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts on snowy Sunday night, and his presence alone raised the temperature to the sizzlin’ hot mark.

On B.B. King’s return trip to the Kirby Center, he once again mesmerized an auditorium full of people with his basic three-note riffs that can humble the most seasoned rock guitarist. Approximately 1,200 people sat enthralled for 90 minutes as the legendary blues man proved why he continues to be the consummate showman.

Mr. King’s congeniality with his audience is practically unsurpassed in any musical genre....Mr. King coaxes and nurtures his guitar named “Lucille” so that even the most subtle note can be heard in the farthest corner of the Kirby Center with resounding clarity....The angst in Mr. King’s songs was earned over his 82 years. And the love, well, the love speaks to his experiences too, both from the mother in his family and the women in his life. To either, B.B. King speaks with a reverence that you have to appreciate....Watching B.B. King still do his thing on stage at the Kirby Center on Sunday night, one thing is for sure — the thrill is definitely not gone. Actually, in some ways, it’s stronger than ever...."
(Read the Full Story Here)

Times-Leader (Penn): BB King was given a lifetime achievement award from the Grammys, almost a symbolic way of saying his career was done. But he’s still recording and still playing – 20 years after receiving that award. “I’m kind of glad they was off a little,” King said last week from a hotel room in Binghamton, N.Y.

He had a farewell concert last year, saying goodbye to his fans overseas. But he’s still touring the states, and he is playing a show at the F. M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre at 7 tonight. Opening is Lex and Joe’s Blueswing. Retiring doesn’t seem to be in the 82-year-old’s future....

He was working on a plantation in Mississippi driving a tractor-trailer and making $22.50 a week. On the weekends, he would sing gospel on street corners.

“People would praise me, pat me on the head and shoulder and say, ‘Keep it up, son; you’re going to be something,’ but they wouldn’t do no tipping,” he said. “And I noticed that when people came by and asked me to play blues, they would give me a nice tip. I would make more money on a Saturday evening playing than I did in a whole week of driving tractors.”

....After 14 Grammy Awards and 50 years of professional musicianship in his pocket, he stays humble because there was a time when King was Riley B. King, a young man who played on the street corner for anyone lucky enough to pass by. Now he’s a legend, still playing for anyone lucky enough to see him....“I keep telling myself when I get to a place where I can’t handle myself, when I can’t be independent, when people stop buying my CDs, yes, I will retire. Other than that, I will wait for the Great One.”
(Read The Full Story Here)

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