B.B. King, the legendary blues guitarist and singer, was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. He had a long and illustrious career that spanned over six decades, and he influenced countless artists across genres and generations. He was also a frequent performer at the Montreux Jazz Festival, appearing nearly 20 times since 1973.
One of his most memorable performances at Montreux was in 1993, when he delivered a stunning show that showcased his mastery of the blues and his charisma as a performer. He was accompanied by a superb backing band that included Leon Warren on guitar, James Bolden on trumpet, Walter King on saxophone, Melvin Jackson on bass, Calep Emphrey Jr. on drums, and Eugene Carrier on keyboards.
The setlist featured some of his classic songs, such as “Let the Good Times Roll”, “The Thrill Is Gone”, “Rock Me Baby”, and “Please Accept My Love”. He also played some covers of blues standards, such as “Caldonia” by Woody Herman, “Since I Met You Baby” by Ivory Joe Hunter, and “Ain’t Nobody Home” by Howard Tate. He also invited some special guests to join him on stage, such as Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Etta James, and John Lee Hooker.
The concert was a celebration of the blues and its history, as well as a tribute to B.B. King’s musical legacy. He played with passion, soul, and humor, and he engaged the audience with his stories and jokes. He also displayed his signature style of playing, which combined fluid bends, vibrato, and single-note runs. He made his guitar, Lucille, sing and cry, expressing his emotions and feelings through his music.