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Ritchie Blackmore and William Shatner team up to cover B.B. King’s The Thrill is Gone

William Shatner and Ritchie Blackmore
(Image credit: Cleopatra Records / Future)

Of all the collaborations to be announced in 2020, this is perhaps the most unlikely: Deep Purple and Rainbow guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore has joined forces with William Shatner – yes, that William Shatner – for a cover of B.B. King’s The Thrill is Gone.

On the new rendition, Shatner delivers his trademark vocal phrasing, interspersed with some high-octane Marshall-driven Blackmore leads and Candice Night’s backing vocals.

The song is taken from Shatner’s forthcoming solo album, The Blues, which – we can’t believe we’re typing this – might just be one of the guitar releases of the year, thanks to its astonishing line-up of six-string talent.

Guests include Brad Paisley, Sonny Landreth, Steve Cropper, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, James Burton and Albert Lee, among some of today’s hottest contemporary blues players such as Tyler Bryant and Kirk Fletcher.

Of course, Shatner has worked with some big-name players in the past – 2018's Shatner Claus featured collaborations with Billy Gibbons, Iggy Pop and Todd Rundgren.

The Blues is out on October 2 via Cleopatra Records. The full tracklisting is below:

  1. Sweet Home Chicago (feat. Brad Paisley)
  2. I Can't Quit You Baby (feat. Kirk Fletcher)
  3. Sunshine Of Your Love (feat. Sonny Landreth)
  4. The Thrill Is Gone (feat. Ritchie Blackmore)
  5. Mannish Boy (feat. Ronnie Earl)
  6. Born Under A Bad Sign (feat. Tyler Bryant)
  7. I Put A Spell On You (feat. Pat Travers)
  8. Crossroads (feat. James Burton)
  9. Smokestack Lightnin' (feat. Jeff "Skunk" Baxter)
  10. As The Years Go Passing By (feat. Arthur Adams)
  11. Let's Work Together (feat. Harvey Mandel & CANNED HEAT)
  12. Route 66 (feat. Steve Cropper)
  13. In Hell I'll Be In Good Company (feat. Albert Lee)
  14. Secrets Or Sins

William Shatner – The Blues album cover

(Image credit: Cleopatra Records)

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Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar (opens in new tab), Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as the best part of 20 years performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe (opens in new tab).