MUSIC: B.B. King Brings The Blues To Newport

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


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The King himself proved that he's still got it, giving an amazing performance at the Newport Yachting Center. Photo: Mojo Photography.

As a live music fanatic, when I hear that a legend is coming through The Ocean State it's a no-brainer that I have to come check it out. When it's a bluesman like B.B. King performing, saying its a no-brainer is a vast understatement, it's more like a spiritual expedition. The King Of The Blues headlined a fantastic night at The Newport Yachting Center as part of The Sunset Music Series with Providence rocksteady soul group Boo City opening up the show, you knew it was going to be one of the top shows of the summer. The whole time I was here I had to remind myself that one of my favorite musicians of all time in B.B. King as well as pinch myself a few times. The guy is pushing 90 and still tours like he was in his mid-20s and still can strum Lucille better than anybody else, Newport was definitely the hotspot for a once in a lifetime chance to see a musician who will go down as one of the greatest ever.

Boo City

You gotta love it when one of the hardest working bands in The Creative Capital gets to open a show for the ages and Boo City brought their A game for this one. Kicking it off with "Whiskey" set the mood right and then a tantalizing performance featuring "Long Gone", "You Ain't Ready", "Go And Tell Yo Mama" and "Nobody Knows" got the crowd pumped up and ready for the musical brilliance that was in store. It was such a pleasure to see Boo City get such a rad opportunity, I've been following them for years now and if anyone deserves the opportunity to share the stage with a blues god like B.B. King it's absolutely them.

B.B. King

The stage lighted dimmed, the crowd roared and B.B. King's band started things off in old-school fashion with that bluesy swing that had all sorts of jump and swagger, but with a group like this you shouldn't expect anything less. A dynamic horn section abundant with saxophones, cornets and trumpets had each player taking turns at centerstage to show what they got. Then they went into a slow blues number that had everyone swooning, hooting and hollering. The bandleader then introduced none other than B.B himself and King sat down, took hold of Lucille and exuded a blistering solo to start off the extravaganza. B.B. introduced the band to the audience and then right into "Everyday I Have The Blues", "Rock Me Baby", "You Are My Sunshine" that had everybody singing along to every note , "Thrill Is Gone" that had people going crazy right when they heard the first lyric and "When The Saints Go Marching In" to highlight a spectacular set courtesy of a bonafide superstar like B.B that also had him engaging in friendly conversations with the people in attendance. B.B. left the stage, the band finished it off with a bluesy jam and the crowd was still standing. The afterparty then started with Boo City rocking The Point in front of a boogiein' audience and that was all she wrote. It was my first time seeing a show at The Newport Yachting Center and I loved every minute of it, log on to and see when the next big act is playing by the harbor.


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