What a sad day not only for the blues but for music in general. I’ve been lost for words since I first heard the news this morning, this one has hit me hard. B.B. King was a hero of mine and a huge influence on my own guitar playing.
I saw him live in concert twice, the first time on the 25th June 2009 in Birmingham. It was the night Michael Jackson died and it was odd because during the show he was talking about young musicians who had been influenced by him, who he had played with, who then died too young. I don’t think he knew about Michael Jackson’s death until after the show like the rest of us so it was a “weird” kind of moment. A great show though, I recorded a number of the songs on my phone and even though the recordings aren’t great his one of a kind guitar playing shines through. The second time I saw him was at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2011. He started the show by himself but over the course of the whole evening a number of guests came out to join him including Ronnie Wood, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Slash and Mick Hucknall. The last time I saw him, the last time he came to England I believe. 4 years ago. I’ll cherish the memories of hearing him play for the rest of my life. A blues legend straight from the Mississippi Delta, born and bred on the cotton fields. As blues as you can get.