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Buddy Guy
-Center for the Arts-
Amherst, NY April 4th, 2011

Concert Review - By Bob Silvestri

Buddy Guy - Center For The Arts     There 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 others.
     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 Buddy Guy - Center For The Artsplayed 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


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