Think they don’t understand or appreciate the blues in Japan? Think again! Beginning in 1986, Tokyo held the Japan Blues and Soul Carnival which hosted some recognizable names in the genre, exposing the Japanese people to America’s musical pastime. Everyone from Otis Rush and Buddy Guy to Dr. John, Peter Green, and Johnny Winter were apart of the festival which ceased in 2012 with the 26th annual festival. One of the best performances occurred in 1989 when two Kings of the blues made an appearance; B.B. and Albert King.

Albert King is of course one of the quintessential blues musicians and has influenced an innumerable number of guitarists, including our own Joe Bonamassa. Seen here at the 4th Blues Carnival, Albert King is playing his hit tune “I’ll Play the Blues For You” on his iconic left-handed Flying V guitar. At the time, King was 66 years old but was still playing the way he did when he was twenty-five.

With a blaring and energetic horn section behind him, Albert King demonstrates why he is one of the most copied blues musicians of all time; he had one of the most soothing voices of the genre and played catchy single-note solos with tasty inflections and gritty string bends.

Although King died in 1992, he is still always a topic of conversation among musicians and guitarists of any genre because he was that influential. Let us know which blues guitarist, well-known or otherwise, who has made an impact on your playing or who you just enjoy sitting back and listening to.

Hope you enjoy this week’s Blues in Motion video, check back each week for the best modern and classic blues videos the web has to offer!

Patrick Ortiz

Keeping The Blues Alive

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