Joe Bonamassa picks
the best of BB King
One of the genre's current stars chooses 10 of the best by the late King of the blues.
On May 14, Joe Bonamassa came off stage at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre to find his mobile phone overloaded with voicemails and texts (“And I thought, y’know, what’s happened?”). One look at the news feeds confirmed his worst fears: the great BB King had died. in his sleep in Las Vegas at the age of 89, thus robbing the blues of its universally adored ambassador and the last artist who knew how it felt to toil in the cotton fields of the American south.
“We heard a couple of weeks before that it could happen any day,” Bonamassa reflects, as he prepares to share his rundown. “So you start getting ready for it. I met BB King for the first time almost twenty-five years ago; I got to open up for him when I’d just turned thirteen. And the summer vacation after that we did ten shows with him, at places like the Cape Cod Melody Tent. It was the proverbial What I Did On My Summer Vacation. He was just the nicest guy – and anyone you speak to will tell you the same thing.”
BB King is featured in the Top 100 Greatest Singers in the latest issue of The Blues Magazine. Get it here.