ROBERT RANDOLPH AND THE FAMILY BAND AND JAMES HUNTER KICK OFF THE EVENING
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2007, AT 8:00PM
Concert sponsored by Gallo Family Vineyards; Media sponsor: KJAZZ
The thrill is back as bluesman B.B. King brings his B.B. King Blues Festival to the Hollywood Bowl Wednesday, September 5 at 8:00 p.m. Los Angeles receives this one-night-only performance as part of a nationwide tour that hits 16 U.S. cities with various artists on each stop. Opening the show for this leg of the tour is Sacred Steel disciple Robert Randolph and the Family Band, as well as retro-soul guitarist James Hunter, who makes his Hollywood Bowl debut with this performance.
B.B. King's mastery of the guitar, integrating single string runs, "bent" chords and left hand vibrato, has defined the blues to fellow musicians and audiences world-wide for over half a century. King has a colorful musical history rooted in the Deep South at a time when multiple styles of African-American music took shape and began to find recognition in mainstream America. From the chitlin' circuit to symphony concert halls to mega amphitheaters, the 14-time Grammy winner's definitive sound concludes the Hollywood Bowl 2007 summer jazz series with style.
Robert Randolph and the Family Band, composed of Robert Randolph, Marcus Randolph (drums), Danyel Morgan (bass), Jason Crosby (keyboards), and Ray Holloman(guitar) are known for uproarious live sets; James Hunter brings a cool styling with a sound that is marinated in R&B soul.
B.B. KING's reign as King of the Blues has been as long as that of any monarch on earth. Yet King continues to wear his crown well. Time has no apparent effect on B.B., other than to make him more popular, more cherished, more relevant than ever. Don't look for him in some kind of semi-retirement; look for him out on the road, playing for people, popping up in a myriad of TV commercials, or laying down tracks for his next album. B.B. King is as alive as the music he plays, and a grateful world can't get enough of him. Over the years, B.B. has developed one of the world's most identifiable guitar styles. He borrowed from Blind Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker and others, integrating his precise and complex vocal-like string bends and his left hand vibrato, both of which have become indispensable components of rock guitarist's vocabulary. B.B continues to tour extensively, averaging over 125 concerts per year around the world. Classics such as "Payin' The Cost To Be The Boss," "The Thrill Is Gone," "How Blue Can You Get," "Everyday I Have The Blues," and "Why I Sing The Blues" are concert (and fan) staples. Early in 2007, King received an honorary doctor of music degree from Brown University. In September 2008, a museum in his honor, The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, is scheduled to open in his hometown of Indianola, MS.
ROBERT RANDOLPH AND THE FAMILY BAND With Colorblind, Randolph & the Family Band have taken the difficult leap from being great performing artists to being great recording artists. Since emerging from a House of God church in Orange, New Jersey steeped in the "sacred steel" tradition, Randolph's astonishing pedal steel playing has had a revolutionary impact. Like a mere handful of musicians - Louis Armstrong, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder - he has actually been able to redefine the sonic possibilities of his instrument. Randolph's string wizardry is the focal point of the Family Band's legendary live appearances, and led to guest spots with artists ranging from the Blind Boys of Alabama to Ozzy Osbourne. Though Randolph has been defined by his jaw-dropping pyrotechnics on the pedal steel, he notes that the studio time devoted to this album led to an evolution in his playing as well. "Now instead of playing over the top of everything, I'm learning to play within the melodies and the concept of the song," he says. "It doesn't have to be the most fancy lick, but everything needs to work together - the melodies and the lyrics and the music."
JAMES HUNTER Anyone who's seen or heard James Hunter perform is already hip to his remarkable talents as a singer, guitarist and songwriter. This includes Van Morrison who asserts, "James is one of the best voices, and best kept secrets, in British R'n'B and Soul. Check him out." There's no denying that Hunter's musical style harkens back to the days of classic 50's and early 60's R&B. What's remarkable is that the same timeless quality can exist in music that is being written, performed and recorded today. Hunter's voice is smooth, brilliantly controlled and unapologetic. Through his infectious vocal and guitar performances, clever songwriting and tight horn arrangements, Hunter proves to be a man of impeccable taste who has learned from his influences rather than simply imitating them. James Hunter has toured extensively on the club and festival circuits in London and across Europe. His natural ability as singer and guitarist brings added excitement to his music, evidenced by the frenzy he can stir up among hardened gig-goers and young hipsters alike. About the frenzies, Hunter concludes, "It's simple really-it's music you can groove to."
One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and in 1991 gave its name to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, a resident ensemble that has filled a special niche in the musical life of Southern California. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly-constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 39th season. Attendance figures over the past several decades have soared: in 1980 the Bowl first topped the half-million mark and close to one million admissions have been recorded. In February 2007, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the third year in a row at the 18th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards; the Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers, and Disneyland.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5 at 8 PM
HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood
B.B. King Blues Festival
ROBERT RANDOLPH AND THE FAMILY BAND
Concert sponsored by Gallo Family Vineyards; Media sponsor: KJAZZ
Tickets ($1 - 93) are on sale now at HollywoodBowl.com, at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office (Tuesday - Saturday, 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.), or by calling Ticketmaster at 213.480.3232, and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount, subject to availability; call 323.850.2050 for further details. For general information or to request a brochure, call 323.850.2000.
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