Sep 16, 2013

B.B. King Live at the Regal 1965: The King of Live Blues Albums

Live at the Regal is certainly one album, that does grab and stir you. If you don't have the hair stand up on your neck at least 5 different time during Live at the Regal  you might not have a heart, or soul for that matter.

B.B. is at the peak of his powers here, the guttural growl, the high pitch squeals.

 He is the absolute beginning and end for male blues singers. I don't think it is possible to eclipse this live performance, I really don't.

Here are a few highlights: B.B. leads off the track "Worry Worry" with one of the most incredible blues guitar solos I have ever heard.

The guitar tone and B.B.'s portly fingers deliver some sort of straight to the heart arrow that makes you week in the knees, Oh to play with that type of emotion and vibrato once in my life?  Also "How Blue Can You Get", see the video below, is an absolute masterpiece of human story telling, and the audience is eating it up with a spoon.

This guy can do no wrong, the suspense builds as B.B. tells the story of a unappreciative woman, with all the gifts he showers her with to no avail. Finally B.B. blows the roof off the Regal with an uproarious crescendo, just listen to it, you won't be disappointed.

I was very fortunate to see B.B. King at Riverbend Music Theater near Cincinnati Ohio in the year 2000, Buddy Guy and Susan Tedeschi were special guests too, a hell of a show let me tell you. B.B, even back then was all ready having to perform while sitting in a chair, his vocals not what they once were, but not bad at all.

 He really doesn't hit those high note like he once did. but he still made up for it with his expert charm, and I doubt any artist has more of that.

That first vibrato laden note he hit, sounded like a bolt of lightning to me, as good as Buddy Guy was, this was totally different, almost like God stepped down from the heavens and exclaimed "let there be music"

B.B. is nearly 90 years old now and still performing, I am sure all that weight he lost 20 years ago saved his life, and gave us 20 or more good years to enjoy this master of the up town sound. King is one of the greatest entertainers in the history of recorded music.

I paid .25 cents for this ABC Paramount label copy, the vinyl was a strong VG+ and it just sounds perfect, analog sound can not be beat for classic recordings like this.

 After all, it would stand to reason the original format for which the music was made would sound the best. Believe me it does.

CD's many times are tinny and compressed, and lose much of the original depth and warmth, why would any one listen to a CD copy when Vinyl is readily available? Both reissue and vintage copies at your finger tips . Let the blues live on...

Update: I would be remiss if I didn't mention the passing of B.B. King on May 14th 2015 at the age of 89. B.B thanks for teaching us what playing guitar is all about: It's not about how many notes you play, but rather how much feeling you put into them.

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