Damn Right I’ve Got a Rolex
Legendary septuagenerian, Rock n Roll Hall of Famer and undisputed Blues icon Buddy Guy rocked the House of Blues last Thursday night before a large, boisterous crowd that all but filled the main hall to capacity. Sporting a polka dot shirt instead of his trademark polka dot Strat, as well as a conspicuously flashy diamond watch, the five-time Grammy winner led the crowd on a sing-along medley of his (and the Blues’) greatest hits, including Willie Dixon’s “I just Wanna make Love To You”, Junior Wells’ “Hoodoo Man’s Blues”, Muddy Waters’”Hoochie Coochie Man”, and of course his inimitable cover of Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally”.
We use the phrase “sing-along” loosely. As his normally bourbon-smooth voice went from hoarse to frog-croak, he cheerfully exhorted and admonished the Dallas crowd to fill in, first with a word or two, then the chorus, and later, entire verses, which they did, with more passion than pitch.
His fretsmanship and tone, on the other hand, were as sparkling and fresh as ever. On several occasions he launched into a shredfest of such epic energy, speed and control, it reminded one and all why so-called “Guitar Gods” Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan have called him theirs.
Rather than rest between numbers, Guy launched each new song from the coda of the last, creating a perceptual non-stop barrage of tunes. Instead, he took his breaks during the songs, as in the protracted question and answer riff duet with keyboardist Marty Sammon on “Hoochie Coochie Man”, or by letting fellow guitarist Ric Hall take long (and always inspired) solos.
That Buddy Guy deserves a jewel in the royal crown of Blues is undisputed. That he deserves a diamond Rolex, well damn right, he’s earned that too.
If your're ever in The Windy City, be sure to stop by his club at 754 South Wabash Ave.
Review by Tom Freyer, staff writer