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Published: 2012/02/22

President Obama Performs with Mick Jagger, BB King, Buddy Guy, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi and Jeff Beck

Mick Jagger, BB King, Buddy Guy, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Jeff Beck, Keb Mo, Gary Clark Jr., Shemekia Copeland, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and others performed for President Obama in the White House’s East Room last night.

The all-star performance was part of a blues tribute tied to Black History month and featured a number of unique collaborations. Booker T. Jones led the evening’s house band and welcomed President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama into the ballroom with version of his classic “Green Onions.” Obama wished the audience a happy Mardi Gras and even joked that “Trombone Shorty brought some beads up from New Orleans.” Earlier in the day, Trombone Shorty and others also participated in a student workshop in the White House’s State Dining Room.

BB King—who performed in a wheel chair—opened the night with a set of blues classics like “Let the Good Times Roll” and “The Thrill is Gone,” while Trombone Shorty joined Jones and the house band for “St. James Infirmary.” Jeff Beck and Buddy Guy also shared the stage for “Let Me Love You Baby.”

A bit later in the show, Mick Jagger took the stage to sing “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” “Commit A Crime” and “Miss You.” Adding some extra star power, Jeff Beck played guitar on “Commit A Crime” while both Shemekia Copeland and Susan Tedeschi sang backup on “Miss You.”

Near the end of the night, Tedeschi, Jones, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks and the evening’s house band all paid tribute to Etta James with a take on her classic “I’d Rather Go Blind.”

For an encore, Buddy Guy, Gary Clark Jr, Jagger, Beck, Booker T Jones and the evening’s house band also shared the stage on a version of “Five Long Years.” Most of the evening’s players then returned to the stage for a cover of “Sweet Home Chicago.” Obama introduced the group as the White House Blues All-Stars and Jagger pulled the President—and longtime Chicago resident—onstage to sing a few verses of the song while King, Haynes, Trucks, Beck and others played.

The blues concert, which is part of the “In Performance at the White House” series, will air on PBS on February 27. A larger video of last night’s performance are also available on


There are 29 comments associated with this post

ed February 22, 2012, 11:31:26

great. he can sing a little. apparently thats about the only thing he can do competently

PM February 22, 2012, 12:08:39

Great show don’t miss it on monday, and Ed is an idiot, a supporter of failed policies, probably though Iraq was a good idea and Tax cuts for the rich would trickle down to everybody and regulation is hurting job growth, problem is we been there and done that and IT DON’T WORK just read a newpaper. So thanks for supporting the policies that got us in this mess! but step aside and let people who know how to run things like OBAMA fix the mess you people created.

me February 22, 2012, 12:29:02

Hey ed… perhaps if you weren’t deaf, dumb and blind you would see all the good he’s done… the simple fact that our country didn’t collapse like we’re witnessing in Greece… is proof enough… Maybe one day you and the other fools who hate him simply because he’s not a right wing idiot will actually take your blinders off and stop hating for the sake of hating… As for his singing, I think he needs to stick to the soul songs cause he was a bit weak on the Sweet Home Chicago!

JTR February 22, 2012, 13:49:04

Ahhhh…nothing like blind dumb liberal lemmings…

IAmSpartacus February 22, 2012, 13:58:37

And Nero fiddles while Rome burns…

Debbie Downer February 22, 2012, 14:03:19

While none of you are wrong for your opinions, you are all just as ignorant as the next, as am I. None of us know how hard of a task Obama accepted, but I do know that he has continued to LIE to the American public. His main promise of no ear marks and pork has been forgotten about since day one of his election and his attempt to push his healthcare through was one of the worst examples of corruption this country has ever seen. If you want to stand behind Obama, so be it, but please state a legititamate reason why if you are going to criticize someone else. Ed nor anyone else who is dissatisfied with Obama is an idiot, but PM and me-you are not making a strong point for your intelligence

david February 22, 2012, 15:54:28

Pretty sure that BBking did not perform in a wheelchair…he was sitting for a large part of his performances…but he was definitely walking on and off stage unassisted…

Pm February 22, 2012, 16:27:07

Debbie Downer..The amount of money spent on pork is like .001% of the budget it’s noting, if ear marks and pork are your big issue and i don’t believe Obama ever said he was going to stop pork and ear marks(that would be MCcain). Besides pork and earmarks are part of the political process they may sound dumb to those not benefitting but people do benefit and a congressmans job is to serve his constituants.Is that enough intelligence for ya! and i think i made a good intelligent case with specific examples.

pm February 22, 2012, 16:30:45

I don’t understand how knuckle dragging conservatives are into this kind of music for it requires an open mind. Ted Nugent and Toby Keith are more your crowd.

Boogie the New Speedway~! February 22, 2012, 19:44:05

Please don’t dominate the rap Jack
if you got nothing new to say
If you please don’t back up the track
This train got to run today Spent a little time on the mountain
Spent a little time on the hill
Heard some say better run away
Others say you better stand still Now I don’t know but I been told
it’s hard to run with the weight of gold
Other hand I heard it said
it’s just as hard with the weight of lead

Debbie Downer February 22, 2012, 22:52:49

When you quit living off of mom and dad and have to earn a paycheck you will understand the meaning of a fiscal conservative and social liberal. Knuckle dragging conservative is far from the case. I voted for Obama only to be proven wrong by a man whose ego outweighs his values. If you do not share this opinion vote for him again. You won’t offend me. My view on politics have no bearing on my musical taste, as of yet there has been no politician who represents the lessons taught in our favorite songs. If Obama is that leader to you than follow and hope for the best, but don’t criticize others…you sound like Bill O’Reily…ignorant

jack straw February 23, 2012, 09:24:39

This is my President, and I’m happier I voted for him as every day goes by. He also happens to have good taste in music.

KoolAde February 23, 2012, 12:07:37

Enjoying great music has NOTHING to do with political opinion. I’m very middle of the road, politically (socially liberal, fiscally conservative if you wish to get detailed), but extremists on either side really work my nerves… Politicians ALL (left or right) want more power and more control and bigger budgets and more tax dollars from everyone: the poor, the rich, and everyone in between. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss… You all just need to enjoy the music and take a deep breathe. Have a nice political discussion if you want to, but if you don’t like what you hear, resorting to name-calling is just childish.

An Outhouse February 23, 2012, 13:11:12

Rememeber when Bush had an all star blues jam at the Whitehouse? Me either.

gotti3 February 23, 2012, 13:38:17

USA today headline read yesterday US slowest econmoic growth since the 30’s. So the president has an All-star blues concert at the taxpayers exspense

Erock February 24, 2012, 07:52:17

BB King was not in a wheelchair. He sat in the same kind of chair as he’s been doing for EVERY show for years now. What a great night of music though!

Uh-uh... February 27, 2012, 10:02:00

I have no problem w/ people who like Obama. I do wonder though, why you like the federal government being in your pocket, in your home, in your food, in the type of car you ‘should’ buy, in your ear, in your public schools, in your work place…. Obama and the democrats = big government…. Hardly the way of life I like to live, and my children to grow up in. @PM, if you’re going to try and say to listen to this type of music, you can’t be against Obama, then you need to do a little more research…because if you ask me, it’s the complete opposite. This music is about freedom and living your life the way you want to. Obama is running this country into the ground. The US is a democracy, right? Not under his watch.

Jon February 28, 2012, 03:16:58

For one night everyone can agree that was a great jam! Seeing BB in the White House, Jagger’s stories. Beck’s playing….....forget politics for this. It’s blues time ladies and gentlemen!

timmy March 1, 2012, 10:07:08

It’s so great to see that the machine has you all so absolutely blind, that you actually think that there is a difference between the political parties. They are fooling you all. WAKE UP!!

James March 2, 2012, 00:03:44

What don’t conservatives complain about? Their lily white world is fading away and thank God for that.

Jaybird March 2, 2012, 14:13:57

Cant you guys take your political bickering to another site and let those of us who want to read comments about music and participate in in this conversation do just that.

Jack D March 4, 2012, 11:57:45

As a Canadian watching from the other side.Bravo, the world needs more of this .

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