Friday, December 16, 2011

B.B. King - Live at the Regal

Last night my son was asleep by 7:15. It was amazing. Most nights I barely have enough energy to do anything more than crash on the couch next to my wife and watch a half hour of TV before going to sleep. That's not to complain; life is good right now. But every day seems to take every ounce of energy.

Last night though, I danced as I did the dishes. I was listening to my iPod on random when "Worry, Worry" by B.B. King popped up. My hips started to sway involuntarily, my shoulders slumped, head rolled back. King's guitar put me in a trance and I was just glad I had the blinds down, because I have the dancing skills of a Peanuts character. Usually if I listen to one of the 1000 Recordings while doing dishes, I listen to classical or opera; in fact, opera while doing dishes makes the job seem so IMPORTANT! But last night I put the whole B.B. King album on and shimmied through the rest of the dishes, finishing with a flourish and a smile.

Artist: B.B. King
Album: Live at the Regal
Recording #200ish
B.B. King - Live at the Regal by recordingtherecordings on Grooveshark

When did I first hear this album? I think I must have picked it up at the library in Jacksonville way back when I first got the book. The Jacksonville library had an incredible blues CD collection, and I really realized how much the blues matched my musical tastes by perusing their shelves. I knew nothing about B.B. King before I heard him on a collection I got out from the library. In fact, when I heard the song "How Blue Can You Get," I was shocked to realize it was the sample used in Primitive Radio Gods "Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Change in My Pocket" (yes, I did that title from memory-- my brother was obsessed with that song when we were kids).

When this album starts, the first thing I think is "Damn, this is sexxy!" As Moon points out in the book, the crowd goes NUTS for King. "Sweet Little Angel" actually made me blush when it came on last night-- maybe that means I have a dirty mind for thinking the song is dirty, but I don't think so. Read between the lines; that song is dirty as hell.

King's voice alone is worthy of praise, but when he picks up a guitar it's game over. The thing about rock guitar is that it impresses with its speed and seeming impossibility. Blues guitar is sneakier. King's lines are so slow and organic that they seem simple. Go ahead and try to play along with him though, because it's maddeningly hard. His guitar sounds so smooth and clean and he doesn't even play with a slide, which is just awesome. If you aren't under his spell by the end of this album, check your pulse.

Read the book entry
Buy this at Amazon

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