Last week, Guitar Center held the finals of their “King of the Blues” contest at the House of Blues in Hollywood CA. Congratulations to Kirby Kelley of Sherman, Texas who beat out more than 4,000 guitarists to be crowned the winner!
There was a “who’s-who” panel of celebrity judges that included Jimmy Vivino of the Tonight Show Band, Elliot Easton of The Cars, accomplished session musician Blues Saraceno, blues legend Hubert Sumlin of Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters, renowned blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Grammy Award winner Pete Anderson, Steve Lukather of Toto, Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World Brad Tolinski, and Dweezil Zappa.
Following the contestants’ performances was an electrifying performance by Joe Bonamassa, who invited many of the judges to join him throughout the evening during his full concert set.
Here are 2 videos (both in HQ) that allow you to stand in the 2nd row and watch Joe play with Steve Lukather… (thanks to libbysvideos)
GuitarBuzz readers know that I am a HUGE fan of Joe Bonamassa. I also admire and have a ton of respect for Steve Lukather. Steve impressed me as a judge in the Guitar Player Magazine “GuitarSuperStar 2009” competition with his passion and direction as he addressed the final competitors. He continued that same line of mentoring at “King of the Blues”.
What I noticed in these 2 videos was the different styles that Joe and Steve have when playing blues solos. If Joe played 300 notes, Steve played 3,000. Steve blistered the fretboard, Joe left it dripping with pure Mojo.
What a great night that must have been. Wish I could have been there!
By the way, this is my 100th blog post to “TheGuitarBuzz” and I want to thank ALL of the readers, followers, commenters and supporters. When I started this blog about a year ago, I doubt I could have come up with 100 things to write about. Now that I have the first 100 behind me, it’s on to the next 100… -GuitarDaddy
One last thing… I am trying to track down Kirby for an interview. Until I do, check out his winning performance on this video: