"If the whole world would act more like B.B. King, we would have a really beautiful world."
These were the words of world renowned musician Susan Tedeschi as her and her husband, Derek Trucks’ electrifying tribute to B.B. was coming to a close.
Her words could not ring more true and on Saturday June 5, 2021 she and more than 30 world class musicians all made the trip to Indianola, MS... acting a lot like B.B. They showed up on their own accord, just as B.B. always did for the annual Homecoming Festival. Because of this, the event was free and open to the public.
As many Indianolans and blues fans know, B.B. came home to Indianola each year on the first weekend of June to headline the B.B. King Homecoming Festival. He made the trip religiously, not missing one for the 30+ years leading up until the year of his passing with each installment helping to raise funds for the youth of the community.
He did this for one reason, for the love of his hometown and community of Indianola, MS. Can you imagine how many engagements he turned down year after year? Love is a strong bond, and it was evident the bond he shared with the crown of the Delta was unbreakable.
This night of music was so special because the musicians on the lineup mirrored the generosity of B.B., they did it out of love. It showed and the community felt it. The evening was much more than just a show featuring amazing musicians, that happens in lots of places. Any promoter or organizer with the right amount of funding can put together an all-star cast, but they cannot buy the genuine love soaked into it like we absorbed in Indianola on Saturday. It had the magic, the B.B. and Indianola kind.
I believe the organizers, artists, and audience alike all went home with a full heart, and that is priceless. I can imagine they will exude great emotion when sharing and reflecting on this past Saturday's festivities.
Because it came from the heart and a sincere appreciation for B.B., I strongly believe this weekend's celebration will serve as a solid foundation for more of these types of authentic events for years to come here in Indianola, MS.
If you have not yet made it out to see the project that made all of this possible, make sure to go by the B.B. King Museum and see the new exhibit and memorial garden fit for a King. This is also a testament to B.B., who decided on Indianola as the museum's location and ultimately his final resting place.
When these legendary artists helped cut the ribbon on the expansion last Saturday, perhaps they were also cutting the ribbon on a new musical tradition to come to the community of Indianola in the spirit of the King of the Blues.
A special thank you to the many selfless artists and organizers involved:
Robert Terell, Malika Polk-Lee, and the entire B.B. King Museum Staff & Board
Tony C. Coleman, Derek Trucks , Susan Tedeschi, Christone "Kingfish' Ingraham, Gary Clark Jr., Bobby Rush, Keith Robinson, Kenny Neal, Tom Wurth, Dr. Alphonso Sanders, Jimmie Lee, Calvin Jake Brown, Bud Fordham, Demaris Birge, Tino Tribblett, Dell Bentley, Vasti Jackson, D'Kieran Harrell, Teeny Tucker, Keith Johnson, Mr. Sipp, William West, LaTeriance Burns, Gabriel LeBrane, The B.B. King All Stars, Lil Ray Neal Band, Michael Doster, Walter Riley King, Selwyn Birchwood, Kenneth Bean, Varney Green, Freddy T. Holt, Rod Allen, Reggie Richards and Fredrick Neal.