The Thrill Ain't Gone - Jack Semple's Tribute to BB King
(Calgary Bluesfest 2017)

As much a fan of music as he is a maestro, Semple recently developed a complete concert of B.B. King's material just before his biggest influence passed on to that great gig in the sky.

" His artistry as a improvising guitarist is of the same level as Charlie Parker, Joe Pass or Pat Matheny. In 1995 I went to his concert and met him and he signed and dated my strata caster BB King unlike other superstars was humble, patient, and empathetic. The time I met him there were 40 people waiting in line to speak with him. He took took as much time as each person wanted with him. He posed for photographs, signed guitars, sign photographs, and engaged with each one of the fans.

The experience was a great lesson for me as a budding musician/artist. He made each person feel important, valued, and significant. His generosity was overwhelming. I try to follow his lead professionally. His artistry as a improvising guitarist is of the same level as Charlie Parker, Joe Pass, or Pat Matheny. His ability to communicate emotionally with the audience through his guitar was unparalleled!

I've been studying his guitar style and learning the depths of his musical phrasing. To quote my wife, who is a classical flute player, she said when hearing him for the first time, "when he plays his guitar he might as well be talking."

Jack Semple