It’s not often that you can see a living music legend play, much less pepper him with questions and get him to sign a book, but I guess it’s your lucky week.
Booker T. Jones is a legit music titan, the writer of the instantly recognizable 1962 classic “Green Onions,” and frequent collaborator with a who’s who of one of America’s most beloved golden eras. He played on Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” Willie Nelson’s “Stardust,” Otis Redding’s “I Love You More Than Words Can Say,” and Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign.” He’s also played with everyone from Ray Charles to Neil Young to Rancid.
Jones’ talent was apparent early; he was a studio musician at Stax, the iconic Memphis record label, when he was still in high school. Like most geniuses, Jones shot to success by pioneering his own niche and then dominating it; he was doing “chill vibes” decades before anyone even coined the phrase. Brian Eno invented the term “ambient music” and is generally credited with creating the genre, but my vote goes to Jones; listen to the 1971 Booker T. and the MGs album “Melting Pot,” and tell me it isn’t as smooth as anything you’d hear playing in a minimalist coffee shop in 2019.
Jones is appearing at City Winery to read from his new memoir, Time is Tight: My Life, Note by Note. He’ll take questions after the reading, and then perform music with his son, musician Teddy Jones. Ask him whatever you want, but know that if your question is related to Rancid, everyone in the audience is gonna be rolling their eyes at you.
Booker T., City Winery, 1350 Okie St. NE, 8-11 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 20,; tickets, $45-$55