Favorited ex.fm Songs

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hey, don't forget... BB King

A combination of being busy, being lazy, and being forgetful have meant that I haven't posted in a little while. I've been spending a good chunk of time re-listening to a bunch of albums from the past three months for my quarterly roundup post. Rather than post about something that will show up there, I thought I'd try something different. I've been playing around with the idea for a while of having semi-regular posts in which I discuss older songs. I tend to get so consumed by trying to stay on top of what is currently coming out that I thought it would be a nice change of pace and a way to force me to not ONLY listen to new music. Thanks to finally reaching a bit of a break in the work I'm doing and to hearing a certain song an hour or so ago, tonight's the night to try it out.

I've got a bunch of artists I want to write about eventually, but BB King forced his way into the first installment of this series by writing a just fantastic blues (mostly) instrumental song called "If That Ain't It I Quit," which happened to come up on my iPod on my drive home from the office tonight. I remember hearing my parents play some BB King back in the day, but I never really connected with his stuff until a few years ago. Fortunately, when I finally did become interested in BB King a bit, I was able to mine my dad's music collection to find some of his stuff. The song for this post is from the exceptional "Blues on the Bayou" album, which BB recorded in 1998 at the ripe old age of 73. I'm always amazed by artists who can keep rocking out as they get older. Bob Dylan and Charles Bradley are two artists I can think of who I've seen recently that perform with more energy than plenty of people 30+ years younger than them. I don't know much about blues, and I've never seen BB King live, but he sure hadn't forgotten how to play guitar by the time he recorded this album. Considering he was #3 on Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists, this probably shouldn't come as any surprise.

I can't go too far beyond BB King in my blues knowledge, but fortunately I've got a cousin who can. If you're looking for more blues, I highly recommend checking out my cousin Ben's radio show on Kansas State's student radio station and his blog that goes along with it. He currently has a weekly show called Blues Power with Ben that airs 10 to midnight (central) on Sundays (here to listen live) and a blog here that posts his set lists, some videos, and other miscellanea.

Here is the song that inspired the post, "If That Ain't It I Quit." The first 99% or so is BB wailing on his guitar Lucille. It's pretty impossible not to have at least a couple of your limbs bobbing along with the beat while he does that, but I think the part that really seals the deal for me and the reason the song always sticks out in my mind is that last 1% at the end.

If That Ain't It I Quit by B.B. King on Grooveshark

And as a bonus, here is another of my favorite BB King tunes "Why I Sing The Blues":


  1. BB came to Iowa City back in ... um.. well, he played at Hancher, so yeah, it was a while ago. It was more "Story Hour with B.B. King" than a concert, which was just as awesome. His entrance consisted of him with a majestic cape, leisurely strolling across the stage for about an entire song while his band played. He sat down on a stool, someone brought him his guitar, and there he sat for the next 75 minutes. He'd play a song. Tell a story about that song (or some other random thing), and the (much younger) band would play for a while without him. It was like hanging out with your grandpa for the afternoon, except, you know, him being one of the best bluesmen still alive. It's in my top 10 for concerts, even though he only played about 8-10 songs.

    1. That sounds fantastic. I guess I came to Iowa a bit too late.