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Buddy Guy

Discussion in 'The OT' started by lugnutathome, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. lugnutathome

    lugnutathome Hall Of Fame

    Apr 13, 2009
    Woodburn, OR
    Went to see the last of the Chicago bluesmen Saturday night at Portland's Roseland Theater. This venue has a balcony with seating and the main floor is GA standing room only. Boy did my feet hurt! But WOW!

    From the moment Buggy took the stage to almost 2 hours later (no breaks) was incredible. I had a love affair with the blues in my youth and moved to prog rock and am kind of stuck in world fusion these days so this show was a step back not to mention a 59 year old standing for nearly three hours for the opening act (a 14 year old wiz kid Buddy has teken under his wing), the break between and Buddy's 2 hours of wonderful music, amazing stories about his life, and some guitar theatrics that made my head spin.

    Buddy's technique involves turning the amps to 11 and using the guitar's volume and tone controls in a manner not far from how Jeff Beck does. Buddy's theatrics involved playing sizziling leads with just the fretboard hand, pointing at it with the other or at one point slumped over the amp drumming on the amp with his picking fingers and racing the fretboard with the other.

    During the course of the show he used a towel, drumsticks, shirt sleeves, his butt to make the guitar howl, groan, and wail. Incredible tonal dynamics and virtually no pedal effects. He could play it behind his back, reaching over the fretboard from the top down all while engaging the audience with facial expressions that added to the show. He even could dangle the guitar neck down flat to his point of biew and wail away on it. Just amazing showmanship and superlative chops for the genere.

    Many stories including a few to share as it puts his shows in perspective. He related that he had been asked how much he and the band rehearsed and he went on to say "I don't. I'd just F' it up" his shows are literaly that night's stream of conciousness. We were treated with snippets from the old blues masters, some great tunes from other generas it just flowed together so nicely. An old master sharing his life musically and verbally.

    In another admission he talked about a fan back in the seventies that he recogized at one of his shows the same night James Brown was in town. Asking why he was here and not there the fan responded. "James is like a sweing machine each show night after night is the same with you I got no F'n ide what you are going to do".

    Oh and his voice! WOW! maybe in his later seventies but still a force of nature with a spring in his step, a song in his heart, and tales to share. Yet a most humble man. I came away impressed despite the pain in the feet!

    If you get the chance to see the legend don't delay. I know if I get another shot at it, I'll be there even if I have to stand up for the show.

    Don "what will future generations have that will come even close to this" Bolton
  2. trh

    trh This Space for Sale

    Nov 2, 2007
    NE FL
    You're lucky.

    The last time I saw him in concert, early in the set he was getting ready to play a song from a blues artist that "most influenced him when he was young". Before he named the performer (most likely Howlin' Wolf or Muddy Waters), some drunk yelled out "Clapton!". Buddy said "F*ck it" and didn't talk the rest of the night.

    The 14-year old you mentioned is Quinn Sullivan. Buddy has been talking about how talented he is since Quinn was 8. Some good YouTube videos of Quinn.

    Turning his amps to 11 "in a manner not far from how Jeff Beck does." From what I've read, Jeff Beck probably picked that technique up from Buddy Guy.

    You're absolutely right though. If you get a chance to see him, go. I dragged my wife a few years ago. She didn't like the opening act (she almost walked out), but was very impressed with Buddy and I even catch her now and then listening to some of his recordings.
  3. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

    Mar 22, 2004
    I had the good fortune of taking my oldest son (50) and my lady friend to see Buddy at the Knight Theater in Charlotte ten days ago. As you said, he's quite a showman and a great blues guitarist/singer. All this at age 77! Toward the end of the show, he came out into the audience and walked through the Orchestra level and then up to the Mezzanine, where we were sitting. He came within less than 10 feet of us. Applause was nonstop throudh that number. I'd see him again in a heartbeat. BB King is coming in January, and I'd like to see him, too, although I don't think he puts on as good a show as Buddy.

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