Words + Photos by Rod Snyder

Buddy Guy resumed his “Damn Right Farewell Tour” at the Park Casino Xcite Center in Bensalem, PA on Friday night. The farewell tour was sidelined last year due to some health issues at the end of last year.  Guy, who is 87 years young, is looking and sounding great and is in great spirits too, as evidenced by the show.  The tour has different openers, depending on where the shows are at, and Buddy’s long time friend Bobby Rush was on hand for tonight’s show. 

Rush, who himself is 90, was looking like a young man on stage all night too! He warmed the crowd up nicely with some music, stories and banter. Rush is one of the many artists to appear on Guy’s 2022 release “The Blues Don’t Lie”, which was also produced and co-wrote by Tom Hambridge, Buddy’s drummer. Rounding out the “Damn Right Blues Band” are longtime members Ric Hall on guitar and Orlando Wright on bass. Dan Souvigny is the man on keys for Buddy these days.

“The Real Deal” Buddy Guy, came onstage after a short intro from the “Damn Right Blues Band” and for the next 1.5 hours gave a clinic on the blues. Buddy never uses a setlist so his shows can seem a little stop and go, but it just works. He’s always been a master at controlling his audience and keeping them engaged. His ‘no filter’ banter during the show and crowd participation is fun to listen to as well. His playing may be a little slower these days, but he still possesses some lethal guitar skills, and his tone is still as crunchy as ever. 

Towards the end of his set, Bobby Rush came out and did a couple songs with Guy and swapped stories of their beginnings. These 2 are some of the last of the original blues artists – the history they share and the countless musicians they’ve influenced and STILL continue to influence is exceptional. Watching them communicate with each other, you could see how they genuinely cared and respected one another. The smiles and the way they connected, you could see they shared something special. It was a privilege to be there and witness the moment, especially since it’s the last tour Buddy is doing. As if there wasn’t enough love onstage, Buddy’s son Greg, joined the band on stage, adorned with a blue polka dot Stratocaster and played a few chords while Guy & Rush looked on. You could see how proud Buddy was watching his son playing – he wore a big ‘ol smile as he looked on.

After it was all said and done, it was great evening of music. If there’s anyone out there who hasn’t seen the Legend Buddy Guy, perform in person, I urge you to try and make it to one of the remaining shows.  The good news is, tonight’s date was only the 3rd of this tour, so there’s plenty of dates to choose from.

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TheWaster.com | Bensalem