Albert King’s “adopted grandson” Little Jimmy King salvages Vancouver gig with Hendrix-style string-chomping


By Steve Newton

Sometimes greatness takes a while to reveal itself, and that was certainly the case at the Commodore on June 30.

After a set of gospel-laced blues and spiritual tunes by the Holmes Brothers that included some soulful harmonizing on dusty standards such as Jimmy Reed’s “Baby What You Want Me to Do”, the co-billed Bobby Parker Band took the stage, but without acclaimed new guitar-slinger Little Jimmy King in the lineup.

With his big head of well-coiffed, phoney-looking hair and his purple polyester double-knit suit, Parker resembled a Stratocaster-playing James Brown, and his enthusiastic trumpeter/emcee played up the show-band approach with numerous introductions and calls for applause while Parker lead the five-piece band in a superfunky blend of swingin’ R&B and deep-rooted blues.

When the dapper-looking Little Jimmy King finally joined the band at 1:20 a.m., the adopted grandson of late blues legend Albert King was plagued by incessant technical problems, grimacing—along with the dwindling crowd—at the squealing blasts of feedback emanating from his rig.

Although his famously cranky mentor would have likely thrown a tantrum at this point, Little Jimmy kept his cool, and just when it seemed too late to salvage the show, the bugs were worked out.

For the next 40 minutes the Memphis-based picker was free to wail away worry-free, living up to all the hype about him being the likely successor to Stevie Ray Vaughan’s blues-rock crown. He even put that shiny gold front tooth of his to good use with some flashy Hendrix-style string-chomping.

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