An advantage to achieving Senior Citizen status is a lot of memories. Many
of the better memories involve musical experiences, some of which I would like to share with
you in this article. Picture a cold January evening in New York City. Hints of a previous days' snow still hugs the
curbsides and each exhale shows as white vapor. A line
of true believers forms awaiting the opening of The Blue Note, which has first come, first serve seating. Still, reservations are required to gain
entrance but no one complains. Tonight we are here to see B.B. King perform
live on stage. It is the anniversary of our 40th wedding and we are ready to
celebrate in style! Just a few nights before the performance my wife persuades the management to accept our late attempt to get reservations to an
already sold out show. Who says New Yorkers don't have a heart! The door opens, our name and reservations checked and we are seated
front row, first seats! The pain of the wait in the cold evaporates quickly as we
celebrate our wonder and amazement at the seats we have. We can literally reach out and touch the shoes of Mr.
Those of you who have seen and heard Mr. King understand the experience.
Those of you who have not have something to learn. B.B. King sings with heart and soul. His songs tell of experiences both happy and sad, but
clearly more happy. His face crinkles up and his jaw and eyes help punctuate the song stories he tells.
B.B. King sings the
BLUES. Tales of love, joy,
disappointment and life come pouring out with foot tapping rhythm. His phrasing and accents tell you "I have been there, and I know what I'm singing
about". A warm combination of vocals, guitar and side men keep the room alive with pleasure and anticipation. It is clear the group has been
together a long time and know where each other is going. A lot of oldies and goodies flow like hot fudge on ice cream -
delicious! It is easy to get
wrapped up in his musical story-telling which he clearly enjoys sharing with the audience. Mr. King and his ever faithful Lucille perform with such ease
and joy that you feel this is what he would want to do... forever. It is glorious blend of man/guitar/music.
Too soon, the performance winds down to an end. Mr. King walks off to the
side of the stage to pick up a large bouquet of loose roses. He graciously hands out the roses to the ladies in the audience as a token of his thanks.
My wife receives a rose and B.B. King hears me say "it's our 40th
anniversary" and he hands my wife the pick he used that night and the
King" pin he wears in his lapel. His smile covers his kindly face and my wife is thrilled!
We leave the Blue Note exhilarated, pleased and happy with the knowledge that
we had a great night and a memorable experience filled with fun and good music. We also feel we got to know this man and his music a little better.
How can you beat that?
Try B.B. King Live at the Apollo (GRD 9637). For a true adventure,
please listen to Heart to Heart with Diane Schuur (GRD 9767).