Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Video Review: American Masters Presents The True Story Of "The Life Of Riley"

The award-winning documentary series "American Masters" just entered its 30th anniversary season and to kick things off is a stunning hour-long documentary on the life of blues singer/guitarist B.B. King titled "The Life Of Riley." It features interviews with many of his fellow bluesmen, collaborators and students of the genre as well as hearing from the man, himself revealing his life story. You can fill a whole hour up with just hearing how much of an influence B.B. King had on the lives of Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, John Mayer, Derek Trucks, U2 and others.
In this documentary, B.B. King tells us about his childhood in Mississippi and moving to Memphis to become an entertainer. He would take side jobs as a disc jockey where he developed the nickname "blues boy," which would eventually be shorten to B.B. He glowed when he talks about learning to play guitar from his cousin Bukka White and watching T-Bone Walker and Django Reinhardt perform, but he would also become sadden at the failure of his marriages because of his intense touring schedule. They say he holds the record for touring 365-days of the year, but as he got older, he was very much in demand as the film shows him rehearsing with U2 for their hit single "When Love Comes To Town" and with Eric Clapton on his "Riding With The King" album. 
The documentary closes with his passing as it ended a chapter in modern blues music as a golden casket would be the only fitting resting place for this blues legend. This latest installment of the "American Masters" series will premiere on February 12th and will give you an eye-opening insight into the early days of B.B. King and how he has grown to become a larger than life icon in the world of music. To find out more about "B.B.King: The Life of Riley," please visit pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters.

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