Buddy Guy – First Time I Met The Blues
Buddy Guy – I Cry And Sing The Blues
For those of you who don't know Buddy Guy, first of all shame on you. Second of all, just kidding – you're still alright. Third of all, here's a brief recap of a long and distinguished career. Guy, who was born in Louisiana, is one of the progenitors of the Chicago Blues sound. With only a grade school education, Guy taught himself to play guitar from Muddy Waters records. After relocating to Chicago, Buddy worked his way through the 50's and 60's developing his sound and creating a reputation for his showmanship and entertaining concerts. During these years, he was a solo artist, session musician, bar performer, and huge influence to guitar legends like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. Rumor has it, Hendrix used to cancel shows just to go see Buddy Guy play.
I wasn't sure what to expect going into this concert. I knew Guy would still be able to kill the blues, and blues concerts are always some of the best and most heartfelt shows, but he's 74 years old, ya know? I knew from the second Guy sauntered onto stage with his cream colored stratocaster and started shredding my face off that the show would be awesome. For the next 120 or so minutes (the perfect concert time in my opinion), Buddy Guy stretched out some originals, played some classics, and teased random popular songs (Bill Withers!).
He played into the crowd, up and down the aisles, and serenaded old ladies. He sang in every register and showcased his great ability to inject soul vocals into blues guitar. He threw picks and told jokes.
Guy also dropped F bombs left and right, which was particularly awesome given the college auditorium setting and middle aged crowd. He told stories laced with innuendo and conversed back and forth with the audience, who was eating up every moment of the show. Guy was a performer as well as a musician, and the experience was all the greater for it.
Buddy Guy is a living legend. It's a shame his name isn't better known with the blues greats like John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, or Howlin' Wolf. I never got a chance to see any of those artists, but I can't imagine a better blues show than Guy put on. He is everything I love about music: full of heart and soul, devoted to his craft, and completely engaging. If you ever get a chance to see him, don't miss it.