Song Of The Day 4/15/2014: B.B. King - "How Blue Can You Get"

It's Alive: If by any chance your appetite for blues music has been offset by the often pallid, more monetarily successful mimeographs of blues music as generated by technique hounds with admittedly sincere intentions, go to your nearest outpost of bits arranged as music (or vice versa) and drink in B.B. King's Live At the Regal from 1965. More than anything else he did, this album launched the aspirations of an inestimable bunch of talented guitarists, a few of which you may even know. I'd be more specific, but that would be name-dropping and John Mayer would never play tennis with me again. D'oh! You can take your pick of the great numbers on this record; I pick the hilarious "How Blue Can You Get."

I was fortunate enough to see B.B. King live at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco about 23 years ago, give or take. I was so moved by his performance that I rushed up to the stage after the encore and stuck out my hand, which he graciously shook. I don't usually do that. I couldn't resist that time. I think it was a good move, strategically speaking, although I did wind up having to wash my hands two weeks later against my wishes. In penance for this, I named my daughter "Lucille."

(I also heard a third-hand account about a guy who ran around in what we'll call "religious fundamentalist circles" who reported going to the same show and claimed to have seen B.B. supernaturally, temporarily transfigured into a "Satanic demon" before reconfiguring himself and finishing the set as normal. I suppose all of us have different ways of experiencing music, some of them incalculably stupid.)

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