Review - By Bob Silvestri
are a lot of guitar slingers out there calling themselves "bluesmen".
Often they are no more than simply taught the blues, it structure its
nuances. Many are egotistic fools with no real feel for the blues just
the ability to run up and down the fret board. The real blues men who
birthed the blues are all passing on, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Robert
Johnson and recently Pinetop Perkins. Few real bluesmen remain. One
of them is Buddy Guy. He brought his prodigious talent once again to
the UB Center for the Arts for a sold out show on April 4th, 2011. (The
same bill featuring Guy and Buffalo Music Hall of Famer Tom Hambridge
rolled thru town last year for a much heralded show.) Guy has influenced
the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and many
Over the course of his two hour show Guy
touched on some older material with the tracks "Feel Like Rain"
and "Someone Else is Steppin' In" and some material from his
most current releases Skin Deep and Living Proof. Both produced by Hambridge.
He showed how he has influenced blues and rock by playing a Hendrix
and Cream medley of "Strange Brew/Voodoo Child/Sunshine of Your
Love. Other highlight included "She's Nineteen Years Old",
"Fever", "Boom Boom" and "Nobody Understands
Me but My Guitar". A feisty seventy four years "young"
he still stalks the stage from end to end and ventured way out into
the crowd for an extended guitar solo during "Drowning on Dry Land".
He can tell a good yarn about the old days in Buffalo "shooting
dice on Main Street downtown with Muddy and Junior Wells" or good
heartedly berate the crowd for singing the wrong verse to a song. He
smiled a lot and looked quite dapper and stylish for his age. He played
to and for the crowd and played
just the kind of show you would expect from a living legend. He has
boundless energy it seems and the man can still play the guitar. His
tone and phrasing are very unique going from a whisper to a roar. Using
very little effects and pedals Guy coaxes the sounds from his Fender
Stratocaster with his hands and fingering techniques while simultaneously
manipulating his guitar's tone and volume knobs.
Opening the show was Tom Hambridge with
a set of hit songs from his latest release Boom! and others he has written
for himself and other artists. Highlights from his set included "The
Fixer" written for George Thorogood, the bluesy relationship tale
"Upside of Lonely", the sentimental "Shoebox" and
"Things I Miss The Most" a hit for Van Zant. For more shows
at Center for the Arts go to www.ubcfa.org