‘Damn Right’ Buddy Guy was in Montreal Saturday night!
The 78 year old Blues legend made that clear from the get-go with his opening song; ‘Damn Right I Got the Blues’. There is no greater torch bearer for the Blues than Mr. Buddy Guy and he is not shy to point that out.
Currently on tour with his protege; Quinn Sullivan and ‘The Damn Right Blues Band’ – Guy is showing no signs of slowing down. Friday night in Toronto, Saturday in Montreal. Business as usual for a life-long musician.
Buddy Guy was picking cotton when he was fifteen years of age. Three years ago, he was performing in front of The President of The United States of America at The White House. In his own words – ‘ my greatest moment’.
For the above reasons, Guy’s use of profanity at a sold out Metropolis on the weekend towards an interrupting fan during one of Buddy’s ‘lessons ‘ / preaching of the Blues – entirely and righteously acceptable.
‘If you would shut the f*ck up …’ Buddy replied. ” You may learn something.’
Guy – in true Buddy Guy spirit, utilizes his status and guitar virtuosity as a history book. Being one of few remaining Blues artists who learned from the masters ( Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, Junior Wells, Johnny Lee Hooker, etc ), Buddy is in a rare position. He can walk the talk and talk the walk.
Buddy Guy is now considered one of the masters.
Starting at Chess studios as a teenager, Guy ( or as Muddy Waters labeled him; Buddy ‘ Motherf*cking’ Guy), learned his craft through the school of hard knocks. Whether performing at clubs like Theresa’s in the South Side of Chicago ( where guns and guitars came hand in hand) or learning guitar from the Father of The Blues; B.B King – Buddy Guy has a piece of everything and everyone associated with The Blues in his inner core.
Saturday in Montreal – did it really matter what he played?
Blues standards “ Hoochie Couchie Man’, ‘ I Just Wanna Make Love To You’ and even Cream’s ‘Strange Brew’ took the musical spotlight. ‘Strange Brew’ on the heels of one of Guy’s history lessons as he explained to a boisterous and loving crowd how the British Invasion did not invent the Blues.
“Ever hear about this guy named Clapton?’ A young Buddy Guy was purportedly asked in the sixties. ” Hear about some one named Jimi Hendrix?” A seventies question.
” There’s this guy named Stevie Ray Vaughan …” An eighties demand.
On and on the questions have been raised to Buddy Guy for fifty years.
He responded Saturday night by playing a few minutes of classic tunes by the guitarists known by everyone ( see above) with a hint of sarcasm. In other words – ‘ you don’t know sh*t’.
Combining vintage Guy licks complete with vintage Guy theatrics (playing with teeth, behind the back, venturing into the crowd), the Grandfather of ten gave a performance for the ages. Age and / or having Quinn Sullivan on stage has curbed the length of the solos and complete songs. Preaching has replaced the licks a little.
Then again – Picasso paid for meals with doodles …
Highlights – ’74 Years Young’, ‘Skin Deep’, ‘Down Don’t Bother Me’, ‘Fever’, ‘Damn Right I Got the Blues
Low-lights – It’s Buddy Guy !