You sounded good up there alongside Jeff Beck, but did Keith not get an invite?
I don’t know anything about the invites or who was playing with who. I was just asked to do the gig and I accepted. I didn’t even really know who was coming. There were a lot of people who were asked. I was expecting to be playing with James Cotton, which I was really looking forward to, but he wasn’t [available]. And we didn’t really know that B.B. was going to come — that was a bit last minute. But I think there were a lot of very interesting people [on the bill].
I saw you tweeting up a storm during the rehearsals and after the show. You were particularly excited about this gig, huh?
It was great because there was Buddy [Guy] and B.B. and I always love seeing them play. And being given a chance to be on stage with them and being able to interact with them is always a thrill. Some other players, like Gary Clark [Jr.] . . . and Keb Mo, I had never seen live before, to be honest. I thought they were really good.
How did that thrill compare to playing for the first couple?
I want to energize the room. If they’re energized, fantastic. I loved it. They seemed to be very enthusiastic and it was a really great show. I hope they enjoyed it and I’m very honored to have played the White House.
I was surprised everyone made it through the evening without making a “Moves Like Jagger” joke.
I know! I was gonna do it but then I did my blues appreciation speech instead.
What do you think of that song?
I hear it all the time. It’s a very long-lived song, isn’t it? That and Adele. Still playing. I get into the car, and there it is, still. And then I go to the club and there it is . . .
Aside from the younger artists you got to meet over the weekend in D.C., who else is making music that excites you right now?
I like the Black Keys’ last album . . . I forgot the title of it. A Spanish name.
“El Camino.” I like that album. It was a good, kind of bluesy, yet somehow... “pop” is the wrong word. It’s a good combination of sounds and songs. I really enjoy that album.
Do you still hear the Stones’ legacy in today’s music?
Yeah! I think there’s some of the Stones’ legacy in that album. Maybe that’s why I like it.