Local Musician Remembers B.B. King - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Local Musician Remembers B.B. King

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By Liz Tufts

ltufts@abc6.com

Fans around the world are mourning the loss of blues legend, B.B. King, one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

King died last night at the age of 89. He'd been receiving hospice care since May 1st.

King's music career started in the late 1940's, which altogether earned him 15 Grammys. He was touring until late last year, and even made performed at Lupo's in Providence last April.

King made several stops throughout Rhode Island over the years and for one local musician who had the opportunity of playing alongside him, he says King left a long-lasting impression.

"A lot of people think that when you play blues, it's only because you're blue. I can play blues and feel better, because blues to me is sort of like a tonic. It's good for whatever ails you,” says Duke Robillard, of Pawtucket.

And more than anyone, B.B. King kept the blues alive playing for audiences around the world—performing more than 200 times a year.

King was also a mentor to musicians around the world, including Duke Robillard, who first met King back in 1971.

“He told me he reminded me of one of my favorite guitarists Bill Jennings, and that's when King and I became friends,” said Robillard.

Robillard would then take the stage with King every now and again over the next 45 years.

“We played together at the rock and roll hall of fame.”

And Robillard even wrote a song called, “I'm Going to Get You Told.”

“It's a tribute to him [King], I patterned it around his guitar style.”

In 2011 he won the B.B. King International Artists of the Year award.

Although King won't be stepping back on stage, Robillard says his music will forever go down in history.

“There's no way that B.B. King will ever be forgotten as long as music exists…and guitar playing exists,” explain Robillard, who will be taking the stage Saturday night in Woonsocket to pay tribute to King.

Doors open at 8 p.m.

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