The Blues Guitarist
Learn Blues Guitar
Wow, I just finished reading this biography and am truly satisfied with my reading. It’s been a long time since I read a book this refreshing. Talk about honesty, passion and heart.The last 3 chapters were especially entertaining, talking from the heart about issues generally left untouched. From page one, I couldn’t put the book down.This book really helps you understand B.B’s live performances. For anyone who as seen B.B. King live sometimes gets the feeling that his performance is a routine that dates back 25 years (well, I now know it is!), but this fact doesn’t bother my anymore, understanding where the man comes from, better understanding his way of doing things.Recommended for blues fans and anyone interested in a very entertaining read.
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I can’t remember a time I didn’t know who B.B. King was, but only in the past few years did I own any of his music. Always a Rock & Roll fan I only discovered it’s roots in Blues and Jazz in the past few years. Now I can’t get enough of the Blues. I read this book before a much anticipated B.B. King concert I recently attended. I would highly recommend the book, not to mention the Concert. That’s the remarkable thing about B.B. King, if you want to see him in concert in a city near you just wait. Even now in his late 70’s, B.B. is still on tour booking 250 to 300 one night stands per year. He’s been doing this for over 50 years! His autobiography, told in his own simple and patient voice, tells a complete story of this remarkable man. This book reveals the personality and character of B. B. King in a way that no “tell all” biography could. Along the way you also learn much about the history of 20th century music. B.B. is the king of blues, but as his book reveals he has a complex understanding of all forms of modern music. He knew most of the significant musicians of the last 60 years and the book is filled with great anecdotes about many of them. Sadly you also learn about the painful experiences of racism from the perception of a black entertainer who has been on the road since the days of segregation.
Reading “Blues All Around Me” is like sitting down with the man himself and having the good sense to just sit and listen and keep your mouth shut. Speaking candidly, B.B. King reveals himself to be a very down-to-earth and genuinely likeable man who rose from an incredibly humble beginning to become the most beloved bluesman of all time. No subject is off-limits, and King approaches them all with the same honesty that he puts into his music. Despite his struggle to succeed and survive in a rascist world, his views on racism will surprise you. Also particularly interesting to me were his insights into his musical influences, developing his signature sound, and his comments about younger bluesmen like Stevie Ray Vaughn, whom he considered almost a son. The stories and comments in this book will stay with you long after you have put it down.
By the way, contributor David Ritz has also collaborated on autobiographies of Etta James, Ray Charles, and Aretha Franklin. He had the good sense to sit back and listen to these folks as well. Warts and all, these books reveal the artists from the heart.
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