BB King brings his brand of the blues to Seattle

  • Wed Feb 26th, 2014 5:16pm
  • Life

By Andy Rathbun Special to The Herald

The blues have been around for more than 100 years.

B.B. King has been around for nearly as long.

The reigning king of the blues turns 89 this September and is still touring. He plays the Moore Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

Most scholars of the blues trace the roots of the music to the south in the early 1900s. King was born in Mississippi in 1925 and, by the 1940s, started making an indelible mark on the genre. He showcased an effortless style on guitar and helped put Memphis’ Beale Street on the map.

Since then, he has won more than a dozen Grammys, been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and, in 2006, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from George W. Bush.

He’s touring now, giving fans both new and old a chance to hear tracks like his signature calling card from 1970, “The Thrill Is Gone.”

Tickets are $52.50 to $82.50 at or 877-784-4849.

Skinny Puppy also is headed to Seattle for a concert at the Showbox at 9 p.m. Saturday.

The group — trailblazers in their own right — helped create the template for industrial music that bands such as Nine Inch Nails took to the top of the charts in the 1990s.

Skinny Puppy formed in 1982 in Vancouver, B.C., crafting a dark and pulsating sound. Then and now, the group operated on the fringes, attracting the teens dressed in black.

The group’s status as elder statesmen among industrial rockers hasn’t dulled its edge. A new album, “The Weapon,” appeared in May 2013, and found the band still pounding out its kinetic formula.

Tickets are $27.50 at or 888-929-7849.

Meanwhile, Dr. Dog will heat the Neptune Theatre at 8 p.m. Wednesday, as the group’s unlikely rise continues.

The indie pop group started as a lark when members of another group, Raccoon, patched together a 35-track love letter to 1960s psychedelia, “The Psychedelic Swamp.” That album, released in 2001, found a following among some influential names, most notably Jim James of My Morning Jacket.

After opening for My Morning Jacket on tour, Dr. Dog started gaining traction with fans. The group eventually signed with the respected label Anti-Records and released a string of critically lauded albums.

The group is touring now behind 2013’s B-Room, which hit No. 50 on the charts.

Tickets are $25 at or 877-784-4849.

Dom Kennedy is a newer name than Dr. Dog, but the rapper has already made a bigger mark on the charts.

The Los Angeles-based performer, who plays the Showbox at 8 p.m. Sunday, hit No. 23 with his sophomore album, the laidback “Get Home Safely.”

Like his first record, the independent-minded rapper self-released that album on his own label, Other People’s Money.

Tickets are $22 at or 888-929-7849.

Finally, Umphrey’s McGee will return to Seattle for a show at the Neptune Theatre at 8 p.m. Thursday.

The Chicago-based jam band is preparing to release its eighth studio album this year, so fans can expect to hear new material, including songs such as “Puppet String” and “Educated Guess.”

Tickets are $25 at or 877-784-4849.