Erratic B.B. King Performance

B.B. King is one of my all-time guitar heroes. That’s what makes news like this really sad to me:

Slowed by age and infirmity, including diabetes, King continues to tour — with sometimes painful results. In St. Louis, some fans are singing the blues after an erratic weekend performance led to a stream of audience catcalls and early departures.

Concertgoers said King’s rambling Friday night set at the Peabody Opera House featured just a handful of complete songs amid meandering musical snippets, long-winded soliloquies, an 8-piece backup band that missed its cues and a 15-minute sing-along of “You Are My Sunshine.”

I had heard reports of his concerts becoming more like this over the past few years, which has led me to pass on going to see him the last few times he’s traveled through Nashville. I am fortunate to have seen him several times a number of years ago and each time he put on a great performance.

If you do end up going to a B.B. King concert in the future, go to pay respect to his past great work, but don’t expect to hear the B.B. King of the past.

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