I had been watching the calendar and checking the website and Facebook daily to find out the nano-second when the Buddy Guy Residency show tickets would be going on sale. When they finally did, I was on my way to New Orleans and pulled over to buy the tickets that minute. I had seen the remarkable Quinn Sullivan play before and when I saw that he and Buddy were doing a show, I turned to my best friend, right after I purchased my tickets, and said, “That show is going to sell out first!” Well, I was right!
On January 17th, 2014, after driving for 14 hours through the rain and snow from Charlotte, NC to Chicago, IL, we arrived at the hotel exhausted and excited. Since we weren’t so lucky at the 2013 show with Billy Branch, I requested that our hotel give us a room that faced the Legends club so that I would not miss getting in line early. I don’t think I slept at all anticipating 5am, so that we would be first in line to get seats once the club opened.
When 5:00 AM finally came, we rushed across the street, coffee in hand, to find that we weren’t the first in line at all. In fact, we were number 6! One thing about blues fans, we are really postal workers at heart. Neither rain, sleet, snow, or 9 degree weather, will keep us from standing on a street corner, in Chicago, in the dead of winter and black of night, to see the Legendary Buddy Guy!
At sunup, one of the Legends employees had pity on us Blues fools, and offered us some shelter from the cold. Thanks Mr. “C”! Buddy has some good folks!
Little did we know that Team BG was working in conjunction with PBS Chicago to film a documentary about the Blues in Chicago. The film crew would be there to film an interview with Quinn, and the Show itself would be also filmed. In addition, the January shows were streamed live, and clips went up on YouTube! Since, at 5AM A Real Blues Babe is waaaay too BLUE for public consumption, I went to change and come back for the interview.
Quinn Sullivan is simply amazing. We had the pleasure of sitting next to his extended family and heard the fascinating story of how Quinn met Buddy. To have so much talent at such a young age; like Buddy said, “What 14 year old you know can bend them ‘fu**ing strings like that??!!”
Answer = None!
Quinn laid down some hard blues during the interview..DOUBLE TREAT!! [Ed.- The full Quinn interview is available here.] Amazing, simply amazing!
And now, Ladies and Gentlemen……..
Ok, so if you have ever been to a Buddy Guy show, you know that when those words are spoken, your heart races, your knees get to shakin’, you get filled with anticipation, and at the first sight of just one damn polka dot, you completely lose your mind!!! As did the crowd on January 18th, 2014 at Buddy Guys Legends, in Chicago, IL, when Buddy took to the stage!
Now, when Buddy came out, he told the crowd that he wasn’t feeling well, but I tell you what??! You certainly couldn’t tell it. The young man named Buddy Guy still carries a voice that will shake you to your soul. And that’s just his speaking voice.
In Legendary Buddy fashion, he ripped into all kinds of tunes, old and new. Each and every note was so captivating that you couldn’t take your eyes off the stage for even one second! Mr. Buddy Guy arrived on the stage spry and stately. Of course, his famously electric sound was loud and lovely. In addition to his own blues masterpieces, Buddy did a medley of tunes ranging from Hendrix to Johnny Taylor. Each song sent waves through to the bones. When he picked up the acoustic guitar, he took the crowd right on back to the likes of Muddy, Wolf and all the great old acoustic blues players.
And about the guitar…
Look folks, let me tell you, guitar is the life blood of Blues. Buddy’s been doing this a long time and it shows. Buddy’s guitar simply cannot be described with words. I have been to many a show and each one is just phenomenal! But this on 1/18/14, BUDDY broke straight up into the stratosphere! He played with the drumstick….
Doing Hendrix, he worked the fans….
And the piano and guitar did a lil’ dance….
I got a question now! Who the hell, plays “Mary Had A Little Lamb” and makes it so damn Blue, that you find yourself spellbound, jaw dropped, standing on your feet screaming at the top of your lungs??!!
Answer = Buddy Guy
Buddy brought the house to its feet as he strolled through the audience blasting guitar licks and singing out in the room with no mic. I sat forward in my chair and just stared. I just stared at all the history, tact, poise, style, and plain ol’ blues livin’, that was on the stage in front of me. Buddy put on a show that was famously, fantasatic-ly and simply, Buddy.
Plainly stated, Buddy just played the natural-born blues!
When Buddy brought Quinn on stage…
The magic began all over again….
Quinn let everyone in the house know, he could get down with a lil’ Hendrix too. Every song Buddy called out Quinn played flawlessly.
After the show, Buddy stuck around and signed merchandise and chatted with his adoring fans (namely me). I told him, I would see him in Atlanta (FRONT ROW) and I won’t miss it for the world! Not only is Buddy Guy a World-Class, stratospheric musician, he is simply just a great guy to his fans!
See you in ATL, you will know its me because I will be front row, in my brand new Buddy Guy’s Legends, prototype leather jacket….
Until the next great Blues show to review…