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  B.B. King celebrates his 80th

B.B. KingThe first LOMA event was a huge success, the weather was perfect, the recessed area in front of the hill made for an excellent venue for an outdoor concert, the surrounding trees and sculptures only added to the ambiance of the evening. Friday night (night one) September 23, 2005 was blues night. LOMA - Laumeier Outdoor Music Amphitheater is the newest addition to the Laumeier Sculputure Park

Big Dave - Joe Bonamassa first opened for B.B. at age 10, and fast forward a few years, and here he still is, showcasing that guitar style which is uniquely his! A cover of 'You Upset Me' gave Joe the freedom to make his guitar sound eerily like a violin, a sound you'll rarely hear coming from a guitar!

Cornbread - Kenny Wayne Shepherd and band played songs that went back 10 years, “Blue on Black” and my favorite instrumental – “Electric Lullaby”. While I think KWS is a talented guitarist I never got the choice of naming “the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band” and Kenny doesn’t sing. I was glad to see his set focused on his older blues stuff versus the newer direction from blues to rock.

Big Dave - B.B. King is a regal Bluesman, a living legend that brought together a legion of fans onto the grassy ampitheater to kick off the debut of LOMA. Featuring his very special musical relationship with Lucille, and backed by a big brass sound, B.B covered some of his classics such as 'The Thrill Is Gone', and payed homage to U2 with 'When Love Came To Town'. The crowd enthusiastically wished B.B. a happy birthday, as he's celebrating his 80th on this tour! When he encouraged the crowd to 'shake it', he humorously then added, "I'm 80, miss, so be cool"!

Cornbread - By far the thousands of multi-generational, multi-genre fans would agree B.B. King was the highlight of the evening. The eighty-year old ambassador of the blues with his best gal – Lucille, pleased all with songs, anecdotal stories and of course his signature King-inspired bending of notes. B.B. set lasted an hour, he was in good form. Not only is he a polished contemporary bluesman, he’s cute and loveable, highly animated almost cartoon-like with as much charm as he has skill at singing and playing guitar. B.B. played a Willie Nelson song and a Bono song. For me hearing a live version of his 1970 smash “The Thrill Is Gone” was a pure joy.

The St. Louis Blues Brothers
Big Dave & Cornbread

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