A VOICE OF HER OWN
National Recording Academy Member, Claudette King, dubbed "The Bluz Queen" is the youngest daughter of THEE Ultimate Blues Master, B. B. King and, if familial genes count for anything, she is "On to something."
The former San Francisco Bay Area native now living in Atlanta, Georgia, has had the life experiences to make lyrics mean something. She has a natural ease in shifting with the mood of each word. However, most certainly, the power of Claudette's enthusiasm for the beautiful genre-blending music on her debut "We're Onto Something" merits ample notice.
“Is it the root of everything — all other genres — it isn't Rhythm & Blues, it is the Rhythm in the Blues.”
Claudette King can be described as dynamic, amplified, and downright sassy. She exudes a confidence that perhaps was born of her struggle to prove who she is and at the same time carve out her own identity.
As the daughter of the all-time Blues iconic legend, B.B. King, Claudette grew up attending church and had a “normal” everyday life which included attending public school and seemed far removed from the star-studded world of her father.
Her life was so normal that her classmates did not believe she was the daughter of B.B. King.
“There was a high burden of proof for me to convince my classmates,” says King.
Inheriting her father's gift for music, Claudette sang in glee clubs and the choir of Reverend Brown's Baptist church growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area.
"My inspiration is my dad," says Claudette, who was also mindful of how her father was always on the international concert circuit as the tireless Ambassador of the Blues. Listening to the radio and her mother's collection of record albums, she soaked up the joyous singing of notables like Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Michael Jackson, and Mahalia Jackson.
The late '60s was a particularly good time for B. B. King, whose star in the blues firmament first appeared in 1951 with the black audience hit Three OClock Blues.
A blues revival helmed by the Paul Butterfield band in the States and the Rolling Stones in England spurred white college students into investigating King's vast talents.
The Mississippi-born guitarist who once worked in the cotton fields hit it big with his Top Twenty pop chart smash The "Thrill Is Gone." His popularity increased with an appearance on television's Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Not least, in his personal life, he celebrated the birth of a baby daughter, Claudette.
In her twenties and thirties, Claudette made occasional club and concert appearances around town. The most memorable shows were with her father, at the well-regarded Circle Star Theatre, on the peninsula between San Francisco and San Jose, and with Etta James.
She has a particular fondness for the 1991 San Francisco Blues Festival, where she sang happy birthday to 66-year-young B. B. while alongside Boz Scaggs, Robert Cray, Bobby McFerrin, and other luminaries.
Claudette made a blues and country music album entitled "Whiskey Makes Me Sin". As with so many other soul-blues singers past and present, Claudette stayed busy outside music with family obligations and decided the time was right to pursue her music career.
THE TIMES RIGHT
Onto Something, which collects tracks from that aforementioned post-festival session, features superior songs written for her by the world-class team of Dennis Walker and Alan Mirikitani. She is also fortunate to have the accompaniment of two groups of the leading blues musicians on the West Coast -- the most recent session has guitarist Mirikitani, bassist Richard Cousins, drummer Lee Spath, and keyboards player Jim Pugh, while guitarist Bobby Murray led the band on the earlier record date.