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Blues Birthday Playlists – B.B. King And Roy Buchanan

Two giants in the Blues world, who are sadly no longer with us, would have had birthdays recently. B.B. King would have been 90 years old and Roy Buchanan, the world’s greatest unknown guitar player would have been 76 this year. B.B. lived a long and fruitful life and gave us too many musical highlights to even think about, but Roy was a troubled man whose life came a sudden end in a Virginia jail in 1988, where he allegedly took his own life. B.B. and Roy had very different life stories but they were both called to the Blues and both left behind legions of fans who still wonder how they played those notes.

B.B. King Live at the Regal HIGH RESOLUTION COVER ART

In honor of B.B. King and his 90th birthday we put together 90 minutes of his music. We could easily have made Live At The Regal half the play list, but part of our goal was to find some gems off the beaten path – so we start off with the first two tracks from that iconic album instead. From there we go to a hot live version of “Hummingbird” from a live gig at the famous Fillmore East. B.B. loved to play music with his friends so we included some of our favorite collaborations too. “Riding With The King” with Eric Clapton, “Call It Stormy Monday” with Albert Collins (because Albert makes everything just that much better), “All Over Again” with Mark Knopfler, and the penultimate tune in the playlist, “Playin’ With My Friends” featuring Robert Cray. We round out the playlist with a stellar version of “The Thrill Is Gone” from a live BBC set. B.B. may be gone, but fortunately the thrill indeed lives on.

Roy Buchanan. I can’t say enough about Roy Buchanan. I never cared about Telecasters until I heard Roy. How did he keep those things in tune? How did he get that tone? Where did he find that note? Roy was the subject of a PBS documentary called Introducing Roy Buchanan, sometimes referred to as “The Greatest Unknown Guitarist In The World.” As a result of the film he began a journeyman recording career, making records for well known labels like Polydor, Atlantic, and Alligator, as well as making a few albums on minor labels in between. He was restless and often bristled at being cast as a guitar star and having labels interfere in the music he wanted to make. In interviews, Roy proclaimed his Alligator albums as his favorites and most representative of the music he wanted to play. To my ears, Roy really shined in live performance. His tone was outrageous and his playing exquisite. He knew incredible licks from every genre and often juxtaposed styles creating exciting musical moments that still leave us stunned today. Unfortunately Roy couldn’t sing worth a damn and never hooked up with a singer who could match the quality of his guitar playing, relegating him to second or third tier in a music industry driven by vocal pop hits and even in Blues where vocalists traditionally had a leg up on instrumentalists.

Regardless oRoyBuchananLiveFromAustinTXf interference, commercial failure, and personal demons, Roy Buchanan left behind a stunning musical legacy that sends guitarists all over the world back to the woodshed when they hear him. For our playlist we pulled tracks from his whole recorded output. The opener is a track from the hodge podge leftovers record called Malaguena. It’s introduced by a commercial for one of Roy’s local gigs and kicks into a track aptly titled “Rambunctious”. From there it is a carousing ride along the back roads of Roy’s mind and musical creations. From pure Blues, to fusion, to roaring hard rock, we covered it all, including several live excursions from posthumous releases. Roy is an endless source of inspiration. If you’ve never heard Roy, or only some bits and pieces, we hope you’ll enjoy this playlist and begin your own journey through Roy’s catalog. He was truly a Master of the telecaster.

Thanks for checking out our playlists. They are a great way to hear new music and revisit some classics, but please keep in mind that artists get very little money from streaming media. If you hear something you like, please buy it and support the artists.

B.B King Funeral Arrangements Announced

Details of the funeral services for B.B. King have been announced by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and the board of the B.B. King Museum. On Saturday, May 23, a memorial service will be held in Las Vegas, NV. On Wednesday, May 27, Mr. King’s remains will be flown to Memphis and a procession from the airport will begin around noon and move to Beale Street’s Handy Park for a tribute. Then, on Friday, May 29, a public viewing will be held at the B.B. King Museum in Indianola, MS from 10 am – 5 pm The funeral services will be held at the Bell Grove M.B. Church in Indianola on Saturday, May 30, from 11 am – 3 pm. From the church, a procession will travel to the Museum around 4 pm. There will also be a private graveside service for family and friends at 5 p.m.

BBKingHomecomingPosterMississippi Governor Bryant commented “There are any number of reasons we are glad B.B. is being brought back to Mississippi. First and foremost, he’s one of our state’s most beloved native sons.” Mr. King never forgot his home and community. According to long-time friend and former Museum board member Carver Randle, B.B. King maintained strong personal ties to Indianola and always considered it home. The B.B. King Homecoming Festival has been a destination for Blues fans for over 30 years and brings thousands of fans to Indianola each year.

Executive Director of the B.B. King Museum Dion Brown said “From a practical standpoint, we feel comfortable knowing his final resting place will receive perpetual care at the Museum. Also, he had requested that his funeral be held at the Bell Grove M.B. Church in Indianola, and that the Rev. David Matthews conduct the service. Sadly, Rev. Matthews passed away just over a month ago, so that part wasn’t possible. Everyone involved is trying their hardest to fulfill the remainder of his wishes.”

Governor Bryant added “I, along with fans that number in the millions from all over the world, feel a connection to this gentleman who left the earth a better place with his kindness. On a personal level, my mother was born in Berclair one year after B.B., and I grew up in Moorhead just down the road. I can’t help but feel a certain kinship over our shared geographical roots in the Delta soil.”

“Mississippi couldn’t have asked for a better ambassador for our state. When everyone from every corner of the globe knows an individual by two initials and knows the state they’re from, that’s pretty impressive,” said Gov. Bryant, “and we’re humbled that it’s our state.”

While B.B. King’s death may seem sad to many, Mr. King had a wonderful life full of achievements, friends, and good will. Celebrate the life of B.B. King by being kind to someone today and every day. If you are considering sending flowers, please consider a donation to the B.B. King Museum instead and help keep B.B. King’s legacy Live & Well.

Five Lessons Of B.B. King

The passing of B.B. King last night has put me in a reflective mood. I’ve never been the biggest B.B. King fan, but I enjoyed his music, respected his achievements, and recognized him as giant among legends. His influence in undeniable and today’s social media feeds are overflowing with tributes to the man, his music, and his spirit. How did a poor boy born into poverty on a cotton plantation get so far and touch so many? What lessons can be learned from the man born Riley B. King? I’m sure there are many more than what I listed, but these five are what I consider the big ones.

1. Adversity can be overcome
B.B. King was born on a plantation in 1925 Mississippi. He died one of the most respected musicians and people in the world. He shared his story countless times and encouraged young musicians everywhere to keep going. He didn’t let bad circumstances prevent him from succeeding. Neither should you.

2. Music is to be shared
Over the course of his career, B.B. King shared his stage with a myriad of performers from all genres of music. He sang with a diverse array people from jazz songstress Diane Schuur to the ultimate Country Outlaw Willie Nelson. One of his biggest hits was performed with a little band out of Ireland called U2. B.B. welcomed all comers to the Blues and was welcomed in turn by everyone else.

3. One note matters
Most guitarists across all musical genres count B.B. King as an influence. All Blues guitarists were influenced by B.B. whether they know it or not. B.B. King is widely regarded as THE Blues guitarist. He didn’t build that reputation on flash. His guitar playing is simple at its core, but ultimately impossible to imitate because so much of B.B.’s spirit went into his playing. He could put more emotion in one note than most players put in 100. They know it, too.

4. Dedicate yourself to your craft and the rewards will follow
B.B. King played 250-300 shows a year for most of his career. Sometimes more. He said he loved the road and spent his life traveling from town to town taking Blues to the people. He spent his life honing his skills, building great bands, and perfecting his shows. His dedication and attention to details set him above the crowd, earned him a satellite radio channel, several TV specials and appearances, myriad awards, and millions of fans.

5. A little humility will get you everywhere
I’ve never heard or seen in print a mean word about B.B. King. Likewise I’ve never heard of B.B. King being anything but humble. His positivity, humility, and welcoming attitude made him not just the King of the Blues but a Good Will Ambassador around the world. He didn’t get that far by being an asshole.

The video below is one of hundreds of examples of B.B. King sharing his stage and music. This time he brings out Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Koko Taylor, Lonnie Brooks, Eric Johnson, and Gregg Allman. As Bandleader and Ringmaster, B.B. makes sure everyone gets the spotlight. Sharing, humility, and good humor are all here. Thank you for showing us the way Mr. King.

B.B. King Hospitalized Amid Charges Of Elder Abuse

The King of the Blues, B.B. King has been treated by doctors after his daughter Patty King charged the blues legend’s longtime manager with elder abuse. Patty lives with her 89-year-old father and told TMZ she became worried when her father’s urine turned orange, and also mentioned he hasn’t been eating. Laverne Toney, who has B.B.’s power of attorney, allegedly refused to take him to the hospital. Patty King subsequently called the police, who summoned paramedics. B.B. King was then treated at a local hospital, where his daughter said he suffered a minor heart attack. She is now pushing for authorities to step in and protect King.

This occurrence isn’t Patty King’s first complaint against Toney. TMZ reports that last November, Patty charged Toney with elder abuse and burglary, saying that the manager and her assistant have siphoned off as much as $30 million from B.B. King, while allegedly withholding medications during King’s tour, plus pilfering jewelry valued at $250,000. According to TMZ, Police investigated the claims but no charges were filed. Toney has not yet commented on the current allegations.

King was rushed also to the hospital in early April 2015 after suffering from dehydration. An erratic show a year ago, in April 2014, was attributed to a missed dose of diabetes medication. Dehydration was also blamed when a series of shows was postponed in the fall of 2014. The King of the Blues reluctantly canceled all of his remaining concerts last year.

We wish B.B. King a speedy recovery and we hope he is getting the care he deserves and requires. Keep him in your thoughts.

 

Hump Day! Risque Tunes For Your Midweek Blues 12/3/14

BluesBiscuitsHumpdayChristmasHo ho ho! What’d you call me? Hey! It must be Hump Day again. Christmas is coming and it occurred to me that the man with the bag sees a lot of action this time of year, if you know what I mean…

Santa Claus apparently gets a Hall Pass from Mrs. Claus every December. If the songs are to be believed, Kris Kringle is spreading more than joy at Christmas. I’m not sure if he’s a jolly old elf or a dirty old man. He certainly has an eye for the ladies and the ladies are more than willing to wait for Santa under the mistletoe to barter for bigger and better presents.

Blues men and women of all eras have fallen under Santa’s spell. Some have even gone so far as to impersonate Santa for the nefarious purposes of re-gifting beef logs, unwrapping presents, and removing stockings.

Albert King is playing Santa this year and he makes one thing clear: “Santa Claus Wants Some Loving.” He’s been working all year and needs to cut loose a little. C’mon ladies, Santa loves your cookies and he likes his milk straight from the tap!

B.B. King takes a slightly different approach. Skip the chimney, Santa’s coming in the back door. Either way, that sounds dirty. I get the feeling B.B.’s Santa is spreading love and joy the whole year. Swiss Colony was made for this Santa. They’ve got beef logs, meat sticks, and summer sausages, and Back Door Santa’s giving it to everybody he can. As B.B. King sings, old St. Nick don’t come but once a year. No wonder he makes it last all night…

Shemekia Copeland has the cure for Santa’s Christmas Blues but she can’t get him to stick around to sample her goodies. She wants to get her jollies straight from Mr. Kringle. Her tree is trimmed and she’ll deck his halls real good, wink wink nudge nudge. Christmas Eve is on Hump Day this year so maybe she’ll get her wish this time around.

Albert King Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’

B.B. King Back Door Santa

Shemekia Copeland Stay A little Longer Santa

Fresh Biscuits! New Releases For September 2, 2014

After last week’s disappointing lack of new releases, this week comes back strong with new music from the late great Johnny Winter, promising guitarist Philip Sayce, and some soulful blues from Grady Champion and Otis Clay. Vinyl fans will find some reissues below too.

On to the round-up, Biscuiteers!

Johnny Winter

Johnny Winter Step Back

Sena Ehrhardt

Sena Ehrhardt Live My Life

Grady Champion

Grady Champion Bootleg Whiskey

Philip Sayce

Philip Sayce Influence

Otis Clay

Otis Clay Walk A Mile

Karl S. Williams

Karl S. Williams Heartwood

 

For the vinyl addicts out there, we have a few LP reissues this week:

Lightnin' Slim

Lightnin’ Slim Bell Ringer

B.B. King

B.B. King The Blues

Jackie Wilson

Jackie Wilson He’s So Fine

There you have it folks, go forth and enjoy some new blues this week!

Hump Day! Risque Tunes For Your Midweek Blues 7/2/14

Did I say poodle? I meant your p...
Did I say poodle? I meant your p…

We’re halfway through another week and it’s time for some bawdy amusement once again. Today we have a pair of Tampa Red tunes – “Let Me Play With Your Poodle” and “She Wants To Sell My Monkey.”

Tampa Red may seem like an animal lover but he was probably a real animal lover wink, wink, nudge, nudge.  Early blues songs often substituted animal metaphors for sex acts and private parts. Red may want to play with something involving the short curlies but it most definitely wasn’t your dog. 

 

 

 

 

You don't just sell the Mayor of Bluesville's monkey.
You don’t just sell the Mayor of Bluesville’s monkey.

 

“She Wants To Sell My Monkey” again substitutes an animal for private parts. At the time, the phrase was commonly known as a term for prostitution, as a woman selling the monkey was instead selling, or renting her genitals. In this Tampa Red song, that monkey has been promised to him but she wants to sell it. In this version, B.B. King finds out his monkey is on the market and he’s not too happy.

 

 

 

 

Bnois needs a folder for his uploads.
Bnois needs a folder for his uploads.

Our bonus tune for the holiday week comes courtesy of Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Bnois King. “My Space Or Yours” is Bnois’ ode to hooking up in the modern age. Bnois is a man adept at word play and he uses all the jargon to weave his tale of tails. This tune is definitely not for the Spam folder. Double click it baby, just like that…

 

 

 

 

 

Tampa Red – Let Me Play With Your Poodle

B.B. King – She Wants To Sell My Monkey

Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Bnois King – My Space Or Yours

Fresh Biscuits! New Blues Releases For July 1, 2014

It’s a slow week for new releases, Biscuiteers. This happens around a holiday, especially one smack dab in the middle of a sunny summer with people thinking about beaches, hot dogs, and fireworks instead of new blues music. Where have our priorities gone?

There are a few new releases though. Shane Speal, the King of the Cigar Box Guitar released Holler on Sunday night, well ahead of the usual Tuesday release time. You can get the download or order a hard copy at his website. Another independent release comes from Jimmy Thackery. The legendary guitarist dropped the record labels a few years ago and has been offering his new music through direct marketing and CD Baby. Unfortunately we missed it in last week’s round-up but we just fixed that didn’t we?

There are a few more reissues this week including McKinley Morganfield – A.K.A. Muddy Waters, or is it Muddy Waters – A.K.A. McKinley Morganfield? That was the problem when it first came out in 1971. This then-comprehensive Muddy Waters collection looked like a record by McKinley Morganfield and many less-informed record store clerks miss-filed the album causing issues for consumers and businesses alike. The music leaves no doubt, this is Muddy Waters. A.K.A. McKinley Morganfield A.K.A. Muddy Waters. OK?

Lots of questions this week so here’s an answer to the question “What’s new this week?”:

Fresh Biscuits – July 1, 2014

Jimmy Thackery – Wide Open

JimmyThackeryWideOpenCD

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shane Speal’s Snake Oil Band – Holler

ShaneSpealHoller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave FieldsAll In

DaveFieldsAllInCD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Levon Helm BandThe Midnight Ramble Sessions, Vol. 3

LevonHelmBandMidnightRambleVol3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muddy Waters – A.K.A. McKinley Morganfield

MuddyWatersAKAMcKinleyMorganfield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B.B. KingBlues Is King

BBKingBluesIsKing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it Biscuiteers. I know Levon Helm Band is a stretch but Levon was reared in and around blues music and his band gave the world Chris O’Leary who is a damned fine bluesman, harp player, and songwriter. It’s safe to say blues fans might like Levon Helm and vice versa. The person in charge of complaints is Helen Waite.