Friday, 6 January 2017

Buddy Guy's Legends - Bluesbreakers 2008-06-05

Buddy Guy Himself

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Buddy Guy:
I have always found it fascinating that greatest Blues Guitarists who influenced Buddy, were actually influenced by him in great length.
Buddy Guy’s showmanship and at the same time modesty is worth its own story. Never dreaming of reaching any heights, he was beyond happy just being near his favorite Bluesmen.


Buddy Guy on Stage

Born in Louisiana’s countryside, without ever seeing running water until he was in his late teens. His first guitar experience was with a rubber band, then a two stringer which he made on his own (out of windscreen strings used to protect windows from mosquitoes) and taught himself how to play. This was after hearing a friend of the family come visit for Christmas and play John Lee Hooker’s “Boogie Chillin”.

Exposed to the great Delta Blues Musicians of that time, Buddy began performing in the area of Baton Rouge before moving to Chicago in late 1950’s. His showmanship was borrowed from Guitar Slim, a Bluesman known for his playing from outside the club with a 150-ft chord and entering the bars on top of another man’s shoulders all while playing a Strat.


In Chicago, Buddy Guy began visiting Blues Clubs on all sides of town and listening to Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Junior Wells, Sonny Boy, Otis Spahn, Hubert Sumlin and many others in their prime. Being able to be used as session guitarist in Chess Records, Buddy managed two different Blues Guitar lives. One when he was performing – a wild side with or without clothes and being all over the place. Another – always being behind the star who was recording in the studio, just being there and doing what he is told. Buddy recalls those times as being on top of the world. It seemed as all his dreams came true while he was meeting more and more Blues Musicians.

Buddy Guy’s career continues to flourish now in his late 70’s. A Polka-Dot Strat, huge smile on his face and soul-burning licks either on stadiums or in his own Blues Club – Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago. 


Eddy "The Chief'" Clearwater

Every time you would think it does not get any better, he comes out and plays one louder, one smoother, one more blue note and one meaner tune. He is keeping the Blues alive as he had promised those with whom he made it into what it is. Through him there will be others always keeping the Blues alive.

Buddy is known for his signature Polka-Dot Fender Stratocaster. Passion for vintage tweed Fender amps and a rich choice of Ernie Ball .11 strings. His main axe is a cream-colored Strat, custom built Chicago workshop amps made after Fender Bassman and a 0.73 dunlop picks of unknown material.


Otis Taylor

Mr. Guy has been my personal influence and teacher. A belief that all things are possible regardless of your background, resources or any factors for that reason. I have always listened to his unique but most versatile style of playing with some extent of curiosity. It is almost as if his music answers my questions which I cannot even ask. It’s the feeling that got me closer in my search for Blues Guitar.

I had the greatest blessing of seeing BG live a couple of times and both of them I could not stay still. The memories will remain forever and I will share them with the kids down the road.



I wish I could come to the man at some point and exchange a few words with him as he did with the greats of his time. I wish Buddy Guy lives for decades to come and enjoys what he does as sincerely as he did back in Baton Rouge. Hopefully at some point, I will be able to express my respect to the man himself. Hopefully, influenced by him, I will be a part of what will keep their legacy.

Thank you Buddy Guy, for sincere, unhinged, passionate protection of what kept so many people from despair and gave so many others hope and strength to move on. Thank you for keeping the Blues alive.

Buddy Guy Legends:
ddy Guy’s Legends, the well of memories that will quench my thirst for a couple lives to come. If I reincarnate as a caterpillar, I’ll still tell the butterflies around, about the times I’ve been in this Chicago’s Blues club.


Buddy Guy 2008
The club itself was established in 1989 and the sign stating “Honorary Buddy Guy Way” is hanging right in front of the entrance. There, you can always listen to live Blues and every January, Buddy Guy performs from Thursday to Sunday for an entire month as part of his “Residency Performance”. The place had seen the the greatest people visit throughout it’s 25 years of existence. Both, top-grade musicians and visitors with great taste of music.

I’ve called Legends at 2 pm the day of the show. Asked the kind lady on the phone what time should I get there to find a seat for Buddy Guy performance at 11.30 pm. The kind lady said “Now”. I was somewhat intimidated by the Legends “First-come-first-serve” rule but I urge all the first-comers to dismiss doubts. The comfort and intelligent design of the stage did not make it an issue. A gray-haired couple next to me were giving me a run for the money, dancing to the Damn Right Blues Band till 3 am.

When you anxiously locate 700 S. Wabash, you see the corner building with the walls covered in mosaic faces of Chicago Blues Legends: Little Walter, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf. Immediately you know that you will remember this visit.


Buddy Beer
Walking into Buddy Guy’s Legends, you see a cozy, subtle grandeur of Blues history and memorabilia all over. Everywhere around the perimeter, signed guitars are hanging under the ceiling. The walls are covered with glassed pictures, outfits and other items from fans, Buddy Guy and the best of Blues legends history.

The stage itself is a short pedestal in the middle of the back wall. It’s surrounded by a number of tables (that were all packed with people drinking since 2 pm) and on both sides of the hall, bar sections are serving guests. I was truly enjoying how efficient was the entire building as an organism. No lines, no waiting, no discomfort or loss in space.

The staff needs an article of their own for the welcoming, helpful assistance and thorough service provided while making you feel like you are at home. In front of my eyes, one of the security gentlemen took that gray-haired couple from behind a few tall men and moved them to a place where they could see the “Puma” shoes on Buddy Guy’s feet.

I don’t think that it’s something coming form instructions, to do among the avalanche of other duties and I choose to believe that it was a great gesture of human kindness. Special “thank you” to all the staff hard work, making our time there memorable. Special thanks to a beautiful girl, working there that I had a crush on.

Thought I might get bored if I come too early before the main show. The Blues was there throughout the day: Lunch Session, Dinner Jam, Warm-up & Buddy Guy himself. However, my thoughts were fast-dismissed when I came up to the second floor of the Blues club.


Buddy Guy 1965
There I saw more walls covered with stories of Blues decades past, more guitars, another bar and pool tables. All over, large screens were streaming what was going on downstairs for those who may have felt fatigue and wanted to rest at one of many tables around.

There, hours went by as I was reading the priceless walls, meeting like-minded people, talking to the band members and playing dozens of pool games.

A word of caution: If you care for your beer, finish it before you go outside to smoke. When you will be back, your Buddy Brew won’t be waiting there, where you left it. Same goes for the food. I did not care, the Buddy Brew is a homemade beer of Buddy Guy’s Legends and is more than affordable compared to the bars of Chicago. More so, it was fantastic. I took one home with me and opened it 5048 miles later to relive the memories I’ve gathered one more time.

Buddy Guy had much of his stage act inspired by Guitar Slim. This includes beginning to play before he enters the room. He’d done it ever since playing in 1950s Baton Rouge. It hadn’t changed and when Buddy Guy stormed onto the stage from the backdoor, well into “Damn Right I Got The Blues”, the crowd exploded.

Buddy Guy and the Damn Right Blues Band gave a proper show. BG played with a pick, fingers, his tongue and even with his rear, while saying “I just wanted you to know that I can do that”. I considered describing it in detail but would much rather add to the pool of people who would say that a Buddy Guy show is a must-see. It really is, and it is full of exciting surprises. The man will soon turn 79 and he still jumps around the room, setting it ablaze better than most of the performers I’ve seen live and on record.


Eddy The "Chief'" Clearwater
After the show, the band spent another hour or so welcoming the guests (unless they really need to go to the bathroom after a three-hour performance) and BG would be signing things at the gift shop next to the entrance or saying hello to the guests.

People of all ages (21+) come to Buddy Guy’s Legends and they all share the same sweet aftertaste that lasts them for decades to come. I, in my twenties will say the same thing that a college professor well in his sixties told me when he learned that I was going to visit Legends. He said that it was a blast and that I should go. I am telling everyone who will have an opportunity to go – it is a blast and you should.

Ric Hall:
If there were a Lexicon of Chicago Working Musicians, Ric Jaz’s photo would be included right along side the entry: ‘Working Musician’. Born in the Windy City, he truly is a prime example of the best of Chicago musicians; possessing the talent and mastery over his instrument, the guitar as well as audience-pleasing performing capabilities expected of a seasoned professional musician.

Ric has played with Soul, R&B, Jazz and Blues bands in Chicago, nationally and internationally, serving as rhythm section leader for the The Dells – legendary band from Harvey, Illinos. In June 2004 Ric took on the duties of rhythm guitar player in the Buddy Guy Band, where he is gaining a quiet but loyal following and greater national exposure on tour with Mr. Guy.
Ric also operates a small independent recording studio, recording and producing local artists in addition to his own projects.To not include Ric Jaz in your listing would be a terrible omission – he serves as good will ambassador for the Chicago Music scene while away from his home city and as a local attraction when he is in town playing with Buddy Guy, Linsey Alexander, Joe Bar and Jimmy Tillman.


Buddy Guy

Otis Taylor:
Otis Taylor (born July 30, 1948, Chicago, Illinois, United States) is an American blues musician. He is a multi-instrumentalist whose talents include the guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, and vocals. In 2001, he was awarded a fellowship to the Sundance Film Composers Laboratory.

Taylor was born in Chicago and moved at a young age to Denver, Colorado, where he grew up. He originally grew up playing the banjo, but his father wanted him to be a jazz musician. Upon hearing that the banjo was originally an African instrument turned almost exclusively into a white bluegrass instrument in part through the derogatory black-face minstrel shows of the 19th century, Taylor dropped the banjo and began to focus solely on the guitar and harmonica. He played music professionally both in Europe and the United States in a variety of blues-oriented bands, including Zephyr, until 1977, when he left the music industry for other pursuits, including becoming an antique dealer.

Taylor returned to music in 1995, and as of 2015, has released fourteen blues albums. His music tends to focus on the hard realities of life, especially relating to the black community. Some common themes in his music are murder, racism, poverty and the need for redemption. To date, Taylor has twelve Blues Music Awards nominations while White African was named 'Best Artist Debut'.

Down Beat magazine critics' Poll named Taylor's Truth is Not Fiction as Blues CD of the Year for 2002.

Living Blues readers' poll awarded Taylor (along with Etta James) the "Best Blues Entertainer" title in 2004. Down Beat named Taylor's Double V as Blues CD of the Year for 2005. Down Beat named Definition of a Circle as Blues CD of the Year for 2007. They also then named Recapturing the Banjo as "Blues CD of the Year, 2008."

His 2008 effort, Recapturing the Banjo, was an attempt to reconnect himself and the world with the true African origins of the banjo. "There may not be," claimed Down Beat in a review, "a better roots album released this year or decade than Recapturing the Banjo."

Taylor was the support act on Gary Moore's 2007/8/9 European tours and played on his last album.

In May 2009, Taylor won a Blues Music Award for his banjo playing. He held the first Trance Blues Festival in Boulder, Colorado, in November 2010.

His 2015 release Hey Joe Opus Red Meat was editor's choice for album of the year in Blues Music Magazine and Premier Guitar Magazine. Album of the year by Blues411 and #2 by Twangville. Named to top 30 albums of the year by The Blues magazine (UK). It received 4 and half stars from Down Beat and was named to their top 100 albums.


Buddy Guy on Stage

Eddy Clearwater:
Once dismissed by purists as a Chuck Berry imitator (and an accurate one at that), tall, lean, and lanky Chicago southpaw Eddy Clearwater is now recognized as a prime progenitor of West Side-style blues guitar. That's not to say he won't liven up a gig with a little duck-walking or a frat party rendition of "Shout"; after all, Clearwater brings a wide array of influences to the party. Gospel, country, '50s rock, and deep-down blues are all incorporated into his slashing guitar attack. But when he puts his mind to it, "The Chief" (a nickname accrued from his penchant for donning Native American headdresses on-stage) is one of the Windy City's finest bluesmen.

Eddy Harrington split Birmingham, AL, for Chicago in 1950, initially billing himself on the city's South and West sides as Guitar Eddy. His uncle, Rev. Houston H. Harrington, handed his nephew his initial recording opportunity; the good reverend operated a small label, Atomic-H. Eddy made the most of it, laying down a shimmering minor-key instrumental, "A-Minor Cha Cha," and the Berry-derived "Hillbilly Blues" (both on Delmark's Chicago Ain't Nothin' but a Blues Band anthology).

Drummer Jump Jackson invented Eddy's stage moniker as a takeoff on the name of Muddy Waters. As Clear Waters, he waxed another terrific Berry knock-off, "Cool Water," for Jackson's LaSalle logo. By the time he journeyed to Cincinnati in 1961 to cut the glorious auto rocker "I Was Gone," a joyous "A Real Good Time," and the timely "Twist Like This" for Federal Records producer Sonny Thompson, he was officially Eddy Clearwater. Things were sparse for quite a while after that; Clearwater occasionally secured a live gig dishing out rock and country ditties when blues jobs dried up.

But Rooster Blues' 1980 release of The Chief, an extraordinarily strong album by any standards, announced to the world that Eddy Clearwater's ascendancy to Chicago blues stardom was officially underway. The '90s found Clearwater waxing two encores for Rooster Blues, a set for Blind Pig (1992's Help Yourself), Mean Case of the Blues, in 1996 on his reactivated Cleartone Records, followed by Cool Blues Walk in 1998, Chicago Daily Blues in 1999, and Reservation Blues in mid-2000. With consistently exciting live performances, Clearwater cemented his reputation as a masterful showman whose principal goal is to provide his fans with a real good time. Keeping in that tradition, Clearwater teamed up with like minded showmen Los Straitjackets, releasing Rock n Roll City in 2003 on Rounder, followed five years later by his first session for the Alligator label, West Side Strut.

11th Annual'XRT Bluesbreakers Broadcast
Buddy Guy's Legends
Chicago, IL US
2008-06-05

Otis Taylor
01. Announcer/Intro 1:56
02. Ran So Hard the Sun Went Down 3:36
03. Announcer/Interview 2:08
04. Absinthe 4:44
05. Announcer 1:44
06. You Don't Know Me w/Buddy Guy 6:41

Buddy Guy w/Rich Hall (Acoustic)
07. Announcer/Intro 0:16 
08. Hootchie Cootchie Man 4:12
09. Announcer/Interview 2:09
10. Feels Like Rain 5:10

Eddie "The Chief" Clearwater Band
11. Announcer 1:07
12. I Hope You Don't Take It Wrong 5:15
13. Announcer/Interview 1:58
14. Blue Over You 7:05
15. Announcer/Interview 1:36
16. Walk Through the Park 5:40
17. Announcer/Band Intro 1:23

Eddie "The Chief" Clearwater w/Buddy Guy
18. Announcer 0:36
19. Got My Mojo Workin' 9:00

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