The former bassist for B.B. King will play his first show in Vernon this month at Soul Studio.
Canadian Blues singer-songwriter Russell Jackson moved to Vernon about four years ago and will play blues, funk and jazz in town for the first time on July 27, with The Russell Jackson Band.
A dual citizen, Jackson was born in Memphis and played with R&B and soul singer Otis Clay in Chicago until King took notice of him in 1979.
King was starting to do funkier blues at the time and wanted musicians who could play his old songs in addition to playing from his new, progressive album.
“Each night he would come out and hear me play a little bit with Otis Clay,” Jackson told the Vernon Morning Star.
Then, when Jackson was just 24 years old, King invited him to join him on stage.
“I was on top of the world,” he said, adding that King acted as a father figure for him when they were on the road touring.
Jackson played with King for seven years. Today, along with fellow original band member James Bolden, he keeps King’s memory alive by playing in the B.B. King Blues Band.
The band released a new CD called The Soul of the King about two-and-a-half months ago and Jackson said it debuted in the number one spot on the Billboard blues charts.
Compared to the B.B. King Blues Band, Jackson said The Russell Jackson Band that will play in Vernon “is totally different.”
“In The Russell Jackson Band I do what Russell Jackson likes to do,” he said.
Jackson described the upcoming electric and acoustic show as a “90-year history of the blues,” from Chicago-style blues to earlier country blues, and said attendees will not be able to stay in their seats.
“You will be up bopping around,” he said.