B.B. King is 87 years of age now and for many years has not been able to stand during a performance. I saw him in concert when he was 80 and the same was true then. I’ve listened to his recording for many decades and truthfully, the live performance didn’t meet what one hears in his recordings. In recent years I’ve seen B.B. on TV many times and for obvious reasons age is taking its toll on who I believe to be the most important person in the history of blues music.
Today I’ve listened to and watching a performance B.B. did in 1989 at the Japan Blues Carnival. It simply blew me away. His talent, and that of his band, just captivates the venue and the crowd. The whole concert is available on YouTube but I found clips of two of the highlights, All Over Again and The Thrill is Gone. Seeing these videos leaves little doubt why Rolling Stone magazine picked B.B. as the world’s third greatest guitar player in 2003.