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Tribute to Buddy Guy & Junior Wells
June 21, 2012 @ 8:30 pm$25 – $30
Buddy Guy is perhaps the most widely recognized blues guitarist and vocalist living today. His explosive, exhilarating guitar style has not only influenced untold blues guitarists but some of the biggest names in rock and roll history, including Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.
Born in Lettsworth, Louisiana in 1936, Guy started playing guitar at an early age. While still in his teens his early musical influences were the local Baton Rouge blues greats including Lightnin’ Slim, Lazy Lester and Slim Harpo. Another notable influence was that of the legendary New Orleans-based Eddie “Guitar Slim” Jones whose 1954 R&B smash “The Things I Used To Do” is often included in Guy’s live shows. Guitar Slim’s flamboyant stage antics and heavily amplified guitar-tone became an important influence on Guy’s musical style.
In 1958, Guy made the move to Chicago and immersed himself in the highly competitive blues club circuit. He was suddenly in the presence of legends Muddy Waters, Magic Sam, Freddie King and others, frequently winning “Battle of The Guitarist” competitions at various clubs. It was Magic Sam who introduced Guy to Eli Toscano, proprietor of the Cobra record label where Guy cut his first record Sit And Cry (The Blues). When Cobra folded in 1959, Guy began cutting singles for Chicago’s top blues label, Chess Records. Guy stayed with Chess for years, cutting his own singles as well as working as session guitarist with the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson and Koko Taylor. As the 1960’s progressed Guy became increasingly frustrated with Chess. Their attitude towards his increasingly high-powered, wild guitar style was less than enthusiastic. Leonard Chess wasn’t interested in how Guy’s music was evolving and was even less enthused in issuing Guy’s developing style on record. Buddy found an ally in Vanguard Records, which issued the album A Man And The Blues in 1968.
The 1960’s also found Guy working frequently with Chicago blues harmonica legend Junior Wells. The duo gigged the clubs frequently and became a regular fixture in the city. In 1965, Guy played guitar on Wells’ classic Hoodoo Man Blues album for Delmark Records. The celebrated duo toured the world with the Rolling Stones in 1970 and continued a long association of recording and playing through the late 1980’s.
In 1974, Guy and Wells played the Montreaux Jazz Festival backed by Rolling Stones’ bassist Bill Wyman, Terry Taylor, Dallas Taylor and Chicago blues pianist Pinetop Perkins. The explosive performance was captured on tape and released on Blind Pig Records in 1982. Drinkin’ TNT ‘N’ Smokin’ Dynamite finds Guy and Wells in extraordinary form. Both artists went on to become internationally acclaimed blues legends and this stellar recording remains one of Blind Pig’s most popular releases.