Shouting into the Storm Rantings, ramblings, observations and musings from the insipid to the sublime

Friday, September 06, 2002 :::
Buddy Guy, 9:30 Club, Washington D.C. 9/5/02

We are quickly approaching a time when all of the original great blues men are gone. It's like the last part of "The Return of the King", when Ancient Races all leave Middle Earth and sail into the sea with Gandalf and Frodo. We lost John Lee Hooker this year. We still have BB King(although I have serious reservations about his judgment after that Burger King commercial), but he is well into his 70s. Thankfully, we still have the sprightly Buddy Guy. His blues revue rolled into to DC last night, and while not a groundbreaking show, certainly delivered the goods. Which, in this case, was The Blues.

Dressed like Santana at the original Woodstock, the band kicked the night off with the old classic "Got My Mojo Working". It was one of the only full songs Buddy played all night. Most of the time, he would get into the middle of song, only to "bring it down", and give the crowd a history lesson. He told stories of meeting legends such as Muddy Waters, Lightening' Slim, BB King, Clapton, and John Lee Hooker. And after each tale, he would tease the crowd with bits and pieces of tunes from each performer. Hoochie Koochie Man, Boom Boom, Strange Brew, Voodoo Chile. A highlight of the show was when Buddy declared he felt like walkin', which we all know is a integral part of the blues. So, off the stage he came, walking through the crowd, out the back of the main room, down the hallway, out to the bouncers in the front of the building, back inside, upstairs to the balcony, around the balcony, back downstairs, and finally back on stage. Having no in-ear monitors, he had to keep time with his internal clock, not with what was coming out of the PA. No small feat.

While Buddy preached and wailed and moaned the gospel of the blues, his well-worn voice careening over the entire spectrum of volume and emotion, the band was a rock solid foundation. Either the setlist is highly scripted and well executed, or these guys have to be on their toes every second. The rhythm section was so far back in the pocket they were almost behind the beats. The sax player was like a man trying to exorcise the daemons from his instrument.

If you see Buddy Guy is rolling into town, go see him. He is a fun, entertaining showman, and a glowing ember of a dying breed.

Opening act T-Model Ford was about as old school blues as you could get. An old black man, sitting down with his guitar, and a drummer. The singing was almost unintelligible, but I'm guessing there was a lot of My Baby is Leavin', or My Baby Done Me Wrong. Or, as my date for the evening pointed out, My Baby Done Me Wrong By Leaving. The blues are not about limitless choices.

::: posted by Chris at 4:55 PM

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Rantings, ramblings, observations and musings from the insipid to the sublime

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