C. J. Walsh
Klein Memorial Auditorium - Bridgeport, Connecticut
May 19, 2010
In interviews Buddy Guy has complained of the restraints producers placed on his guitar playing when he started out at Cobra and Chess Records back in the ‘50s. This wasn’t an issue at the Klein, where a rapturous crowd went giddy with each distorted note. After starting off with Don Nix’s “Going Down”, a more distant journey back to the songs of his old boss, Muddy Waters’ “Louisiana Blues” and “I Just Want To Make Love To You”, before switching into the more recent sing-along, “Someone Else Is Slippin’ In”.
Guy paused between songs to remind the crowd of the days when a blues performer had to also play the Top 10 songs on the jukebox. He then proceeded to dismantle that jukebox and toss out soul like “Feels Like Rain” that would turn Little Milton’s head and R&B classics such as Guitar Slim’s “The Things That I Used To Do”. For “Skin Deep” co-writer and opening act, Tom Hambridge came on to sing backup and we’re reminded of Guy’s expressive voice.
Midway through his set Buddy gives his nightly guitar symposium, where he plays a bit of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile” before pointing out the roots of Cream’s “Strange Brew”, “See that’s Albert King right there”. The next thing you know he’s swaggering through the crowd playing King’s “Drowning On Dry Land” and the word "blistering" comes to mind. This song went on for a good ten minutes; Guy had a little boy play his guitar as grown men mobbed around trying to figure out how to use their cell phone cameras.
Closer “Sunshine of Your Love” was blues rock at its most bombastic, leaving that black and white polka dot guitar still ringing in the ears. Still a legend, still the real deal.
Published in Record Collector Magazine