Words by Steve Melone
When you think about “old school” artists you may think of Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Stevie Ray Vaughn or the Rolling Stones to name a few. Before those musicians started playing it was guys like Miles Davis, Woody Guthrie, Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy who set the stage for their future success. These were the types of artists that had influence and originality that flooded into the next generation of American music. I was lucky enough to see Buddy Guy himself at the Wellmont Theater this past Friday and he did not disappoint.
The night started off with Los Lobos on the stage. After a great set and an intermission, Buddy Guy graced the Wellmont with his presence. Throughout the night he went back and forth with the audience and made everyone feel not only entertained but connected to the musician who told the crowd, “I didn’t know what running water was until I was seventeen years old.” But, Guy’s journey through life is an entire story in and of itself.
Being a grade A showman, Buddy went for a stroll through the crowd as he played, turning the heads of everyone watching. His guitar playing skill was impossible not to admire, and he even showed the audience that he’s better playing a guitar with one handed then most are with two. He wore a white beret, a white polka dot on black shirt and white pants to look as flashy as he is talented on the stage.
“Every time I come back here I want to play something so funky you can smell it.” Buddy’s banter with the crowd only made the music sound better as the night went on. He played songs “Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues,” “She’s Nineteen Years Old,” “Skin Deep,” and “74 Years Young” to an excited audience. The now 77 year old also covered songs “Strange Brew” by Cream, “Boom Boom” by John Lee Hooker, “Things That I Used To Do” and “Cocaine” by Eric Clapton.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Chicago blues man played a great show through and through at the Wellmont Theater and is a prime example of what a blues musician is. His skills on the guitar were once inspirational to Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix, and today he continues to blow people away on the stage. And as a local bartender put it, “Buddy Guy is one of the last blues men standing.”
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