If you’re of a certain – well, shall we say era? You’ll remember when the legendary GEORGE BENSON was BAD, long before it was cool and good to be bad, if you get what we mean. In fact he was so bad, his 1974 album was named after him.
I have to point you to that album if you haven’t heard it. George has turned out some mighty fine music over the years but BAD is one that fans turn to time and time again. It is still being discovered as well and it’s as fresh now as it was 46 years ago. In fact one guy told us…..
“I bought this album in the early 90’s not knowing much about George Benson’s pre-soul/pop career (his earliest album I had up to hat point was This Masquerade) and it caught me totally and by surprise. The album is, in a word, beautiful.”
But we’re not here to talk about that album, as good as it is. GEORGE BENSON is out on the road again this year, playing 8 UK shows and thank heaven he’s getting to us in South Wales. Incidentally, he’s got a night at the Royal Albert Hall on July 2nd. We mention that because we know fans like to make the pilgrimage to that iconic venue too. You can get Albert Hall tickets, which are £45 – £80 with box seats at £90, here. ROYAL
The live shows will feature George Benson’s masterful guitar playing, and George and his band will perform his Greatest Hits from an impressive back catalogue – which includes such classics as (turn your device volume up loud) Give Me The Night, Lady Love Me (One More Time), Turn Your Love Around, and one of our favourites around the office…….
We talk about current artists ruling the Social Media airwaves, and of course they do. You should know however, that the version of Give Me The Night (above) has had well over 100 Million listens on You Tube alone.
While we all love singing along to these classic George hits, never forget how incredible he is on the guitar. Just watch this masterclass of a solo on Affirmation below……
George’s latest album, the critically acclaimed ‘Walking to New Orleans’, is the jazz guitar legend’s tribute to both piano-pounding hit machine Fats Domino and the original rock guitar hero and poet, Chuck Berry. Incredibly, this is his 45th album and his first recording since 2013’s ‘Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole’.
The video below is well worth a watch. You would think George had seen and done everything, but the day he got to hold and play Charlie Christian’s Gibson ES-250 – 1940 guitar, he really was like a kid in a candy store. And when he played it, the sound is heavenly. He then goes on to talk about how he first got hold of a guitar when he was only 7 years old.
Not only does George have rooms and walls filled with his own guitar collection, but they’re fast being edged out by his ever growing awards. He’s been honoured by the National Endowment of the Arts as a Jazz Master. He’s won a dynamic 10 Grammys, including record of the year for his triple platinum ‘Breezin’. There’s also Record of the Year for “This Masquerade” (1977), Best Pop Instrumental Performance for “Breezin'” (1977) and “Mornin'” (2007), Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for “On Broadway” (1979) and “Give Me the Night” (1981), and Best R&B Instrumental Performance for “Theme From Good King Bad” (1977) and “Off Broadway” (1981).
It’s really difficult to know how to describe George in just a few words, so we’ll let him do it himself from his 2014 autobiography……
“…from blues cat to blues-jazz cat…from blues-jazz cat to jazz cat…from jazz cat to soul-jazz cat…and from soul-jazz cat to R&B-jazz cat.”
GEORGE BENSON gets to St David’s Hall in Cardiff on Friday 26th June and this is one date you absolutely must keep. Whether you’re a fan of the 80s classics, or his Jazz and guitar work, you’ll get it all on this very special evening. For more information and tickets, which are priced between £48 and £68, just go here. GEORGE
And you can see what George is up to, read about his latest album and look at more pictures through the years, right HERE