September 19, 1996 |
"What a long, strange trip it's been," sang Jerry Garcia in the quintessential Grateful Dead song "Truckin.' " Coco Montoya, who performs Friday and Saturday at B. B. King's, knows what Garcia was talking about. He has spent a considerable period of his musical life on the road--first as a sideman and now front and center. It's ironic, Montoya says, that he won a W.C. Handy Award as 1995's best new blues artist, since he's been performing the blues for well over two decades.
August 19, 1996 |
Don't lose faith in your pop music icons. At least not in B.B. King, who can still throw enough of a twist into his blues to demonstrate the greatness well within his grasp. At the Greek Theatre on Saturday, King seemed to find renewed spirit, sharing the stage with the Neville Brothers, Delbert McClinton and Taj Mahal at the fifth annual Blues Music Festival. His headlining set was far from the admittedly fun but predictable hit parades of too many recent King shows.
December 28, 1995 |
Blues fans of both the casual and die-hard variety can thank their lucky stars this weekend. The New Year's weekend finds two blues veterans passing through: B.B. King and, from a younger generation, Gregg Allman. When B.B. King comes to town, as he will at the Ventura Theatre on Friday night, he's toting along a living blues legacy that extends back half a century.
December 27, 1995 |
B.B. King was clearly perturbed by a comment he took to mean that his musical skills and tastes were limited to the blues with which he is so closely associated. During a recent interview, the famed bluesman--who turned 70 on Sept. 16--bristled at a complimentary reference to the classic "Everyday I Have the Blues," a 1950s track he recorded with Count Basie's band--minus the Count--for Los Angeles-based Crown Records. "Oh, you didn't think that B.B. King could sing jazz?"
December 23, 1995 |
During a recent interview, B.B. King--who turned 70 on Sept. 16 and who begins a series of local dates Tuesday night at the Coach House--was discussing a recording he made in the late '50s with members of Count Basie's band. He noted that, although he has established his own reputation as a bluesman, he remembers such jazzmen as Miles Davis and Charlie Parker "sending a sword through my heart" with their music.
December 21, 1995 |
Blues man Smokey Wilson doesn't just talk over the telephone, he testifies. "When people talk about the real deal, I AM the 'Real Deal,' " Wilson reveals. "Oh yes, Lord, I've been there." Wilson, who appears tonight at the B.B. King Blues Club, learned to play the blues by watching legends such as Elmore James, Little Milton and Howlin' Wolf play tiny roadhouses and juke joints in his native Mississippi. One club, Ruby's, was owned by B.B.
December 4, 1995 |
Luminaries from the worlds of arts and politics gathered here to salute the winners of the 1995 Kennedy Center Honors: ballet dancer Jacques d'Amboise, diva Marilyn Horne, blues musician B.B. King, actor Sidney Poitier and playwright Neil Simon. Two days of events culminated Sunday with the 18th Annual Kennedy Center Honors Gala, attended by President Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton. A series of performance tributes was delivered for each honoree.
August 31, 1995 |
To hear Arthur Adams now is to hear a man dedicated to the eternal messages of the blues. He's 54 now, and the singer-guitarist has enjoyed a long and successful career as a performer, session player and songwriter since arriving in Los Angeles in 1964. But this blues commitment has only emerged in the last few years, at local clubs like the Mint and, most recently, at B.B. King's Blues Club at Universal CityWalk.
August 17, 1995 |
Janet Buster understood that things would never be the same for her son after that night last fall at the Universal Amphitheatre. She and 9-year-old Brody were given backstage passes to a concert by blues great B.B. King, and the two found a spot at the side of the stage, hoping for a chance to say hello to King when the show ended. That's when King saw the boy, raised his hand to stop the concert and directed the spotlight to fall on young Brody.
August 8, 1995 |
More proof the blues are far from extinct: Sunday's "Blues Music Festival '95" at the Greek Theatre, where generations of players gathered for a five-hour concert headlined by guitarists B.B. King and Jimmie Vaughan. The show also featured Etta James (who was reviewed here recently), J. Geils Band alumni Magic Dick and Jay Geils, and Elvin Bishop.