As a first-timer to a Buddy Guy concert, I was highly excited to
witness a performance by a Legend in an intimate setting. To say
the least, I was not disappointed. My newfound appreciation for
Mr. Guy makes me wonder what took so long to see him live in the
Guy thrilled the crowd at Harrah's Voodoo Lounge on Thursday
night in a sold out theater. The 5-time Grammy Award winner kept
the audience moving, singing and cheering for a full 90-minute set
that was preceded by a surprisingly entertaining opening act.
Hambridge led off the night with a most sparse set, but brought
forth magnum down-home songwriting. With only a solitary snare drum
at his waist and an organist by his side, Hambridge, an award winning
producer, singer, songwriter and drummer mixed playful drumstick
work on good-natured songs (even using the stage, props and equipment
as instruments on which to play) alongside emotional tracks such
as "Nineteen", a song that follows the journey of a star
high-school athlete who passes up a university scholarship to enlist
in the armed forces to fight for his country. This song especially
brought the spectators to their feet in proud gratitude. I was moved.
So were many in the room that night. Hambridge's songs have been
recorded by musical greats from George Thorogood, and Lynyrd Skynyrd
to Delbert McClinton and Susan Tedeschi.
of you who have been fortunate enough to experience Buddy Guy in
concert can witness to his big, broad and contagious smile. That
smile never left his face the entire concert. The set ranged from
his classic rockin' blues works to some great Buddy-stylized renditions
of Cream's "Strange Brew", and Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo
Child", in addition to snippets from Eric Clapton, John Lee
Hooker and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Guy demonstrated his mastery of the
guitar by playing behind his back, between his legs and with his
teeth without missing a note - an influence that became a popular
trick of Hendrix. Guys dynamic sound ranged from barely audible,
eyebrow lifting guitar-whispers to outright brow-furling screams
and meaty riffs with the driving force of a locomotive. Possibly
this reviewer's favorite song of the night had the fans singing
along to the title track of his new album, "Skin Deep".
The highlight for many admirers was when Guy disappeared behind
the stage then suddenly materialized within the mass of devotees.
He worked his way around most of the venue, even taking a detour
behind the bar, playing and singing non-stop.
yourself a favor. Catch a Buddy Guy concert. Whenever. Wherever.
Just go. You will thank the Almighty you witnessed greatness in