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5/15/2015  The Passing of Riley B. (BB) King

The undisputed KING of Memphis style blues BB King passed away last night at the age of 89 in Las Vegas after being hospitalized with a diabetes-related illness.

Arguably THE most influential guitarist of all time, BB King's groundbraking style not only inspired guitar greats like Calpton, Hendrix, Vaughan, and Buchanan, but it also had major impacts on the artists who spun off completley new genres of rock, rhythm, gospel, blues, pop, and even metal.  " If you don't know the blues, there's no point in picking up the guitar and playing rock...BB King taught us that" (Keith Richards).

Jimi Hendrix said, "(the) blues is easy to play, but hard to feel".  You wouldn't know that if you ever listened to Jimi play, and you certainly would not if you ever heard Mr. King.  "The blues was bleeding the same blood as me", King was fond of saying and this sentiment was personified in every bend and sustained vibrato coming out of Lucille (BB King's axe of choice...a black semi-hollow Gibson L-30 and later ES-5).  The man could convey more emotion with one soulful note then a thousand shredders could cram into any riff or solo.

Legends come and legends go, but BB King was certainly one for the ages.  Fortunatly for humanity, some musicians' art is timeless and will always be relevant.