Since the news of B.B. King’s passing broke on Friday, tributes to the bluesman’s memory have poured in from all around the world. “The Thrill Is Gone” has played in almost every single bar, restaurant, and radio station I’ve tuned in to over the weekend.
On Friday, Trey Anastasio from Phish penned an emotional statement about King’s influence on guitar players across the world. Via:
It’s literally impossible to overstate B.B. King’s influence on every single electric guitarist who followed in his path. All of us who have ever bent a note owe him an enormous debt of gratitude. When B.B. bent a note, it sounded like an amazingly soulful singer. He could shape it at will, and it sung out, like it was coming straight from his soul.
I was fortunate to have had a couple of opportunities to play with B.B. My favorite memory is of shooting the All Access IMAX film with B.B. King and the Roots. In between takes, we all started jamming, just making stuff up, and there was one particular moment where it just got so, so good. B.B. was absolutely cooking on the guitar, Questlove and the rest of the Roots were grooving so deeply, and I was standing right next to B.B. trading licks. I was in heaven.
I’ll never ever forget that moment. I looked over at B.B. and he had that little smile on his face, and I just thought, “What an incredible guy, to take a moment to play music with these young musicians, all of whom completely idolized him.” He was just one of the boys playing the guitar for a moment there. I learned so much from that experience.
Fragments of the jam session that Trey is referring to with The Roots is on YouTube, which you can watch below. It’s quit a treat for all fans of amazing music.
Also of note — Back in February 2003, B.B. King famously came out on stage with Lucile during a Phish set to jam extensively on three blues classics: “Everyday I Have the Blues,” “The Thrill is Gone,” and “Rock Me Baby.”
RIP to a legend.
[H/T: Live for Live Music]