Sunday, July 6, 2014

"B.B. King - The Life Of Riley" DVD (director: Jon Brewer)

Definitive bio of blues legend

All hail the King! Here is what will unquestionably remain the most comprehensive and definitive documentary on the life and times of Riley B. King, aka B.B. King. Tracing his days as a poor child in Mississippi up to present day, "The Life Of Riley" fluidly combines some fantastic old footage and photos with recent interviews, and includes candid conversations with King himself, as well as relatives, bandmates, friends, and admirers. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the film includes interviews with everyone from Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr to Bono (there he is again!), Bruce Willis (huh?), Carlos Santana, Buddy Guy, Bill Wyman, Joe Walsh, and tons more. That alone tells you how much time, effort, and love went into the making of this. 

His story is a great one, beginning with a broken family life, hard times as a segregated orphan, and continuing his thirst for the blues through decades, and befriending everyone from Frank Sinatra to the Rolling Stones to U2. He may be a comfortable guy now, but he's had to fight hard to reach that point, and this tale is simply inspirational.

King himself is still active at 88 years old, and his presence on the music scene is a sign that not all is lost. He remains a true gentleman, and despite his profile (and the admiration of multitudes across all demographics), he stays humble and benevolent. B.B. King is an American treasure, and "The Life Of Riley" is a must-see for anyone interested in American music.

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