Over the course of his six decade career, blues man Buddy Guy has influenced just about every legendary guitarist you can think of, including Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Keith Richards and Jeff Beck. In those many years Guy has also learned how to work a room, and during his show at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix April 5 he dazzled the crowd with his incendiary guitar work while also charming the audience with his stage patter and antics.
After appropriately opening the show with "Damn Right I've Got the Blues," Guy treated the crowd to interpretations of the Willie Dixon classic "Hoochie Coochie Man," Mack Rice's "Cheaper to Keep Her" and Muddy Waters' "She's Nineteen Years Old." As to the latter and its lusty subject matter being sung by an 83-year-old, Guy got a laugh out of the crowd by quipping "Hey, I didn't write the song!"
Guy added lots of commentary to the show, reminiscing a bit about his early days, informing the crowd that he still makes albums, and honoring the man who he calls the best guitar player ever, B.B. King. Fearing perhaps that his patter was a bit lengthy for some, Guy quipped, "You won't know anything about me unless I tell you." The show though was a perfect mix of music and personality, with Guy's spoken words thrilling his fans as much as his guitar wizardry, like when he played a hot solo using a drum stick.
"Who's Making Love," "Fever" and "Feels like Rain" were played, and snippets of "Take Me To the River," "Grits Ain't Groceries" and John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom" found their way into the set. At one point Guy broke a string on his guitar, and that's when a stage hand brought out one of Guy's famous polka dot Stratocasters. Buddy was also wearing a polka dot shirt for the occasion. The show headed to its climax with a raucous version of the oft performed live "Someone Else is Steppin' In (Slippin' Out, Slippin' In)" from Guy's GRAMMY Award-winning Slippin' In album.
Fans who filled the Celebrity Theatre for this show in the round were also treated to a star performance from opening act Jimmie Vaughan and the Tilt-a-Whirl Band. The older brother of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan and a former member of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Vaughn and company rocked through a set that included a blazing take on Webb Pierce's "I Ain't Never," "Just a Game" from the band's upcoming new release, a version of the pop classic "Hey! Baby" and a run through of the fun Fab T-birds oldie "The Crawl" during which Vaughan played his guitar behind his head.
Shows coming to the Celebrity Theatre include:
April 14 - The Musical Box (Tribute to early Genesis)
May 2 - Robin Trower
May 20 and 21 - Willie Nelson & Family
June 26 - Todd Rundgren
July 11 - Howard Jones
July 28 - Ted Nugent
Aug. 17 - George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic
Aug. 26 - Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band
For a complete list of shows coming to Celebrity Theatre go here.
Share this article