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NYC Venues: B.B Kings Blues Club and Grille


 

When the big blues acts come through town, they head for the big blues club–B.B. King Blues Club and Grille in Times Square. The Robert Cray Band, Dr. John, Shemekia Copeland and Hubert Sumlin are just some of the internationally renowned blues and R&B stars who play B.B. King’s regularly.

 

B.B. King has also hosted big mainstream pop and rock artists like Erykah Badu, Better Than Ezra, Macy Gray and The Roots, as well as nostalgic favorites such as Dave Mason and Southside Johnny and the Asbury Dukes. The club even ventures into heavy metal territory with hugely popular all-ages shows featuring industrial rock and Norwegian death metal. These acts draw busloads of Jersey teens in their finest Hot Topic gear coming through the nearby Port Authority bus terminal.

 

 

Tribute bands are big here, too, as are the Sunday Gospel Brunches with the world-famous Harlem Gospel Choir and the Beatles Brunch on Saturday afternoon, featuring former members of the Broadway smash Beatlemania. On the menu? Soul food — everything from buttermilk biscuits and grits to cornmeal-crusted catfish and shrimp-and-andouille sausage jambalaya.

 

Despite the name, B.B. King Blues Club is not owned by the blues legend, but by the Bensusan Family, proprietors of the world renowned Blue Note Jazz Club. The breathtaking main space is two-tiered, with booths and tables on the main floor around a 30-foot stage presents up close and personal views of all performances. Huge video screens on either side of the stage guarantee everyone great views. The 40-foot bar is set at the back, providing a haven for the more reserved listener, and an extensive wine and beer selection.

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