Special guest blog by StreetJelly blues musician: Clifton Printy
Yesterday one of my guitar heroes died. It was none other than the Legendary BB King. I could hardly express the influence this man has had on my playing style. From his “Butterfly” Vibrato technique to the live performance adjustment of volume and tone on his guitar. It was the accurate and articulate clean notes combined with over the top Gospel Blues vocal lines that changed my playing style for ever.
Some where around 2000 I could no longer stand the sound of my over driven AX2 and the distorted mud of my Humbucker pickups. At about the same time my friend Steven Lowell McGinnis, currently with the Bolt Ons, bought an American Strat and began playing clean through a Mesa Boogie. I heard that tone again. I had to have a sound like that.
Most of us would have a terribly difficult time emulating the raw powerful cadence and answer of BB King’s vocals against that always spot on guitar, but man I am going to try.
Thank you Mr. King for your 12,000 shows, for your generous nature, your appreciation of your crowd, and most importantly for teaching me that tone and technique are more important than speed and effects any day.
Rest in Peace King of the Blues.