The B.B. King Blues Festival | Music Previews | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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The B.B. King Blues Festival

Compare and contrast: My lovable, irascible grandma, just turned 80 years old, whom I worry about whenever she gets behind the wheel; B.B. King, soon to turn 80 years old, who still works his guitar like his reputation depended on it. I'm not quite sure what I'm getting at, but I do know that nobody plays the blues like the Mississippi master. King puts more life into the historic form than youngsters half his age, and he does it with an earnest humility that borders on transcendent grace.

Also on the bill is venerable hoodoo guru Dr. John. Born Mac Rebennack, Dr. John grew up in the brothels and drug dens of New Orleans' Storyville, only to emerge with a raspy scat and virtuosic piano talent that have set him alongside the Crescent City's greatest legends. Between him and King, you'll fill your entire yearly allowance of soul in one blues-drenched night.

B.B. King, Dr. John, Shemekia Copeland, and the Muddy Waters Blues Band play at 7 p.m. Friday, December 31, at the Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton. Tickets cost $65. Call 561-966-3309.

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Jonathan Zwickel

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