Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Music / Road Report Reviews from across the Country of the Artist Who Will Perform with the Neville Brothers, at 7 P.M. Friday, Aug. 30, at the Fox

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Music / Road Report Reviews from across the Country of the Artist Who Will Perform with the Neville Brothers, at 7 P.M. Friday, Aug. 30, at the Fox

Article excerpt

The Morning Call

(Allentown, Pa., March 28, 1996):

B.B. King turned Easton's State Theatre into the House of Blues last night. And the place wailed. Even before King played a note on "Lucille" -- the name he dubs his beloved guitars -- the sell-out crowd gave him a standing ovation.

King, 70 years old but still kicking up his heels, responded in kind, graciously, enthusiastically and elegantly showing the 1,600 in attendance what the blues is all about.

After his eight-piece band took the stage at 9:15 p.m. and played two instrumentals, King strolled out at 9:25 in a tuxedo outfit that included a gold lame jacket. He eased into the blues jump tune, "Let the Good Times Roll."

And roll they did as King's fingers rippled up and down the fretboard and across the six strings of his shiny electric hollow-body guitar. It was all his two drummers, bass player, rhythm-lead guitarist, keyboard player, two sax players and one trumpet player could do to keep up.

Showing he's a master of dynamics, King often started out a slow blues, only to build it into a blistering guitar solo crescendo, sending explosive volleys of sound across the hall. King would abruptly change tempos and with the wave of a hand or a nod of his head shift the ensemble into high gear or bring it to a halt.

The thrill was certainly there for King and his audience. King, argu ably the king of electric blues, is known for his trademark song, "The Thrill Is Gone," as well as "Sweet Little Angel" and "Why I Sing the Blues."

King strode the stage, resting his guitar on his considerable girth and leaning back with his head wagging from side to side as he peeled off shimmering guitar solos. His gruff but heartfelt soul-shouter vocals seemed intact, although he didn't always sing directly into the microphone. …

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