25 B.B. King in-the-studio sides, as fresh as they day they were recorded. 23 available for the first time for discerning listeners.
The death of B.B. King at age 89 on 14 May 2015 was a line in the sands of history. Blues fans knew it marked the end of an era spanned by the presence of a man who took the music to its peak of popularity and possibly art. Nobody can replace an icon who epitomises the blues in such a resounding and positive way. So rather than speculating if anyone could fill his shoes, we’ll engage ourselves in embracing the fact that we have gathered together a full release of prime, vintage B.B. – all issued for the first time, apart from a couple of sides taken from “The RPM Records Story Vol 2” of a few months ago.
The collection closes with snippets from a B.B. interview with the Swingin’ Deacon and a plug for radio station 1010, KSAY. It was probably recorded in the late 1950s at the Fillmore auditorium in San Francisco during the venue’s incarnation as a black dance hall and was recently unearthed by intrepid Ace researcher Alec Palao. After 80 minutes of this belatedly and happily available magnificence, it would be fair to say that any blues lover who doesn’t get chills from this programme of the greatest in his prime has a hole in their soul.
But every blues lover does have a hole in their soul with the loss of B.B. King, who took the music we treasure to such heights. Thank goodness he left us so much music and inspiration for us to hold onto as we face the inevitable void. It has been a special privilege to honour the memory and legacy of the classiest, most monumental blues artist ever, and to do so in a way which adds a bit of a new angle and some charm to our appreciation, without diminishing his body of work in the slightest. Godspeed to the best, a King in every sense.