tribute

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Chris Stapleton, Bonnie Raitt Helm B.B. King Grammy Tribute

Pair trade vocals, solos with Gary Clark Jr. on aching performance of “The Thrill is Gone”

on February 16, 2016 No comments
By Jon Blistein
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Bonnie Raitt, Chris Stapleton and Gary Clark Jr.  helmed a six-string salute to blues great B.B. King with a performance of “The Thrill is Gone” at the 58th Grammy Awards Monday.

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The breakout country star and blues hotshot opened the performance, trading vocals, and, more importantly, solos, before Raitt sidled in between them with a devastating slide-guitar run. The trio then each sang a line of the song’s final verse and made one last trip across the fretboard to bring “The Thrill is Gone” to a mournful close.

Per the Los Angeles Times, Stapleton — country’s breakout star of 2015 — was tapped for the tribute after Grammy telecast executive producer Ken Ehrlich saw a video of the singer covering “The Thrill is Gone” on YouTube. Raitt was then added to the performance at Stapleton’s suggestion.

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King died last May at the age of 89. In a tribute penned for Rolling Stone, Raitt summed up the musician’s signature guitar style, which left an indelible mark across the musical spectrum: “Every great blues guitarist has his own style. But with B.B., it was about his vibrato, his phrasing and the licks he chose — and his restraint. It was all about what he played and what he didn’t play. He was sweet and eloquent in his playing, but when he turned it on, he could be fierce.”

Rock Me Baby Medley (B.B. King Tribute) – Joe Louis Walker/Guests – 1995 Kennedy Center Honors

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Source: © Copyright Rolling Stone But wait, there's more!

Bonnie Raitt, Lee Ann Womack and Others Salute Glenn Frey at Troubadour Tribute

on February 14, 2016 No comments

2/14/2016 by Chris Willman

mokKeoul_400x40012715382_10153617966179652_2884621720205084554_nThe loss of Glenn Frey is a heartache worth at least two nights. In advance of Monday’s Grammy telecast salute to the Eagles co-frontman, the Americana Music Association presented its own tribute to the singer Saturday night at the Troubadour, the “Sad Café” where the original Eagles first found one another roughly 45 years ago.

“This was the place where the s— happened, night after night,” said photographer Henry Diltz, who reminisced about the band’s fateful name change from the Beefeaters to Eagles, along with some desert- and peyote-fueled tales of shooting the group’s first two album covers. Diltz was one of three contemporaries of Frey’s on stage for the tribute, the others being Bonnie Raitt and “Peaceful Easy Feeling” songwriter Jack Tempchin. (Other members of the Frey extended family included manager Irving Azoff, who looked on from the balconies of the one-time country-rock clubhouse.)

Mostly, though, the love came from next-generation singer/songwriters — or next generation after that — including Brandi Carlile, Lee Ann Womack, Jack Ingram,frequent Jack White collaborator Ruby Amanfu, and ex-Civil Wars member John Paul White, who noted he was born the year one of his selections (“Most of Us Are Sad”) came out.

Raitt was, not surprisingly, the MVP of the night, dueting with Carlile on “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” contributing a slide guitar solo on “Heartache Tonight,” and taking verses in the show-closing ensemble numbers. The next best thing to hearing Raitt covering the entire Eagles catalog would have been hearing her do a few solo numbers, but her collaborative efforts (as she played well with others) were the next best thing to that.

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Bonnie Raitt Remembers B.B. King: ‘He Was a God’

Singer-songwriter remembers her long friendship with the blues legend

on May 16, 2015 No comments

By David Browne | May 16, 2015

Blues guitarist B.B. King passed away Thursday at the age of 89. Here, Bonnie Raitt pays tribute to her friend, collaborator and inspiration.

B.B. was a god from the first time we all heard him. You listen to those early recordings with that cry in his voice, even as a young man. I still have the 45 of “Rock Me Baby” that I wore out playing when I was a teenager. I used to sit there and play it and move the needle back to the beginning and play it over and over. It’s so sexy and the groove is hellacious. A lot of people have covered that song, but that’s my favorite version. Every great blues guitarist has his own style. But with B.B., it was about his vibrato, his phrasing and the licks he chose — and his restraint. It was all about what he played and what he didn’t play. He was sweet and eloquent in his playing, but when he turned it on, he could be fierce.

© David Corio/Redferns/Getty

© David Corio/Redferns/Getty

B.B. King’s 5 Greatest Live Performances

My manager worked with Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, and B.B. was Buddy’s hero, so I got to go backstage and see B.B. when he was in and out of blues festivals. He was always very complimentary about my playing. He was always so gentle and humble and appreciative and he got a big kick out of the fact that all us young white kids got him. We became friends and later he would confide in me about his personal life and how he loved the ladies. To watch him backstage flirting with beautiful women was a delight. He loved his fans, but he enjoyed the company of kind and appreciative women. I always wished he’d had a steadfast and steady partner, but he was on the road so much. He could have retired years ago and cut his schedule back, but he told me he stayed on the road to be able to support his band and crew. He had a big band. I always wondered how he could afford it. He just worked all the time.

He was pretty happy, but I always wondered if he was a lonely guy. But I never asked him about that — I didn’t want to invade his space. He must have had some kind of pain in his life, but talk about overcoming whatever hardships he had.

When we recorded “Baby I Love You” [for the 1997 King duets album Deuces Wild], he had just played Dallas the night before and drove all night to get to the studio. He must have had two hours of sleep. But he was still such a champ. He was completely professional and said, “Whatever key you’d like.” He was so classy and so bold at the same time. He was an old-school Southern gentleman, but his playing was razor-sharp. I learned so much about dynamics from him.

Source: © Copyright Rolling Stone

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