Album Reviews

B.B. King – Live At The Royal Albert Hall (Shout! Factory)

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Shot in glorious film at the storied Royal Albert Hall in London, this concert film, directed by Jon Brewer, has a lush, warm glow and excellent 5.1 sound. It is also available on CD.

What makes this concert film refreshing is that rather than waiting for the end of the show to bring out his guests, King brings them out early on, starting with Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks. King allows the married musicians plenty of room to improvise and sets the tone for the evening. With little or no fanfare, Slash, Mick Hucknall and Ronnie Wood also appear on stage. King leads his guests, allowing them to improvise and riff on mostly non-blues numbers such as “You are My Sunshine” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

While Hucknall gets his moments to shine vocally and Slash shows surprising taste and restraint, it would have been nice to hear Wood get more of the spotlight.

Even at 85 years old, BB King can still put on a show. With the help of a myriad of surprise guests, King plays it loose and shows how relaxed and fun an evening of music can be.

– Steve Matteo

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