From The Road:
The finest blues guitar player in the world is Buddy Guy. But you knew that, right?
In case you didn’t, last year at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago, “The Mayor” blew the place up like a German supply train on Hogan’s Heroes with the help of Jonny Lang and Ron Wood – check it out here. Those who were in the stadium will tell you, brother: The day was star-studded, but HOT, steamy, and a little sleepy until the afternoon. Then, after a skeptical crowd glared at John Mayer for 20 minutes, Buddy appeared, 100-watt cue stick in hand, and ran the table. And everything just went UP from there. The Master Electrician had turned on the juice. Those who had come so far to be a part of it suddenly remembered why Crossroads is in Chicago… So that local citizen Buddy Guy, the mightiest of them all, can be fresh as a just-poured glass of Kentucky bourbon when the bell rings.
Saturday is Buddy’s 75th birthday. Thankfully, many bluesmen, whether of the first Mississippi-bred crew or of the second, “wartime” all-electric generation, have lived longer than their lifestyles should afford. But none have had the shine and the chops, or just the sound, in the fourth quarter that Buddy has at his Diamond Birthday.
The Stick is not here to hawk goods, but sometimes, a great deal got to be shouted about. This weekend at Pop Market (no relation), “Can’t Quit The Blues”, a fine 3-CD and DVD box set from “Five Long Years” ago is being trotted out for a mere 25 bucks. Not everything that Pop Market offers is a stone deal, but this is hard to sneeze at. The DVD alone is a beauty.
Whether you shell out for that thing or not, take a minute sometime this weekend to listen to how damn good and pure and BLUE this guy is. You’ll pour yourself a crisp one, just out of gratitude that you and Buddy are both on the planet at the same time.
Last album – Beausoleil, Alligator Purse (and some vintage Buddy singles, natch)