blues fest buddy guy

As Only He Could: Blues Legend Buddy Guy Headlined 32nd Chicago Blues Fest

Thursday, June 18, 2015 Cora

Blues legend Buddy Guy headline the 32nd Chicago Blues Fest in Grant Park last Saturday. An evening with one of the most influential Blues guitarists is special, but last Saturday's performance was one to remember. Scores of Blues aficionados and newbies stayed despite the rain to hear and see him live.

Buddy Guy Rain delayed the show but only for a couple of minutes. You could almost feel how much he wanted to get out onstage to perform for the people squinting through the rain drops. They were waiting to see if the monsoon conditions were safe for the 78 year icon to go out yielding an electric guitar. Fans donned ponchos, garbage bags, hats and pieces of paper to survive the rain including opening umbrellas of various sizes (including one in the middle near the front the size of a pup tent). Guy is the pride of Blues and Chicago. You can't talk about the Blues without mentioning him. He has influenced so many musicians from so many genres with his skill, performance style, and presence. You also got a certain feeling of urgency from the crowd. We lost a great music legend with the recent passing of BB King. Many were there to see Buddy because it's Buddy Guy in Chicago, but also realizing this may be one of the last times to see him.
Buddy Guy Guy opened with "Damn Right I got the Blues" performed only as he could with his unmistakable fervor, like it's a cathartic venting or preaching. He's known to have no two performances the same, but he is the through line. While he played staples known to him, he also covered several Blues greats including Johnny Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom Boom". He ended with a rendition of Hendrix's "Voodoo Child". Great guitarists have a way of giving life to a guitar in a way that it's another entity onstage with them. He displayed that throughout the night in all songs. Guy talked to the audience about the Blues. "I'm going to talk about some people you young'uns don't know about," he joked. Some people did cheer louder for Eric Clapton than Muddy Waters, but they were forgiven. He talked about meeting Willie Dixon. If musicians came to Guy asking how to play the Blues he told them what Dixon had told him: you can't be told how to play the Blues, you have to learn it for yourself. That's the heart fire that took a young Buddy Guy from someone living on the streets to being Blues royalty.
Buddy Guy at Notodden Blues Festival 2009 The show was only an hour because of the park's curfew. He said he complained about the time limit. "Told them I'd start at 6 and play until midnight," he told the crowd. You got the feeling he would. He left the stage and headed over to his club, Legends, where he performed with Booker T. Because even though he's getting up there in age, he is ageless and his love for the Blues and performing is never ending.

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