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You’re never too old to feel the blues – but apparently you can be too skint to afford them. At 87 years old, living legend B.B. King hits Vivo Rio at the end of September as part of a world tour. But while King helped define the genre that grew out of the destitute communities of the African-American South, the Rio promoters of his upcoming concert have ensured that only those able to part with a substantial quantity of dinheiro will attend.
Perhaps you’re paying for experience. After all, King has an astonishing 15,000-plus performances under his belt and current tour, ‘The Blues Is My Life’, will add to that figure significantly. And it goes without saying that, on this his eighth trip to Brazil, the great man will be accompanied not only by his ever-present black Gibson guitar, Lucille, but also by an eight-piece band of seasoned pros.
With no new record to promote, it’s a pretty safe bet that King will mine his vast back-catalogue of more than forty albums, including his most recent collection of cover tunes, 2008’s Grammy-winning One Kind Favor, for the many gems hidden there.
Fans flush enough to buy tickets will be treated to classics such as ‘The Thrill Is Gone’, ‘Bad Case of Love’, or more recent hits ‘When Love Comes to Town’ – from his collaboration with U2 – and ‘Key to the Highway’, recorded with Eric Clapton. There’s no disputing King’s musicianship or the value of seeing him live, but there’s also no excuse for such outrageous prices – a real cause for singin’ the blues.