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Last Night: Buddy Guy at House of Blues

Buddy Guy
House of Blues
October 15, 2009

Better than: hob-nobbing at the foundation room bar upstairs.

"Hi, can I ask you a question?" your author said to the sound engineer at the front of the house.

"Yes?"

"I'm a journalist for the Dallas Observer, here to cover the show. I was wondering if there's any way you could help me get a snapshot of his set list for my article?"

"There is no set list. He doesn't use one!"

"Really? Thank you. That's all I needed to know."

..and so began one hell of an unforgettable evening of guitar playing and showmanship.

"Ladies and Gents, please welcome to the stage...five-time Grammy Award winner, Mr. Buddy Guy!"

The crowd cheered, but then? Get this: Dallas actually shuts the fuck up for this guy. The crowd hushed like it was in church when Guy "broke it down" to a barely audible whisper on the strings of an old, cream-colored stratocaster; ominously peeking out from underneath a black & grey fedora. Guy loves to "break it down", and does a good dozen times in a set.

There was a time when Buddy Guy literally had to tell us "shut the fuck up" us here in Dallas. That was several years ago at The Red Jacket. So, no, he's not afraid to pull that little paddle out if he needs to. Now, one little "shh..." in the middle of "Hoochie Coochie Man" is all it takes, and a hush falls over the room.

"Oooh, I can make a bulldog kiss a pussycat...."

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Wow, no shit! We wont even "shut the fuck up" for Ryan Adams! But, for Guy? Dallas has been trained. Dallas respects. He's fucking cool, man.

He commands his audience with experience and authority, but most importantly, with a 73-year old voice that has a range from one end of the universe to the other. And, of course, guitar solos so delicious that they just plain blister and hurt. That's what commands the attention of one of the most cocky, A.D.D. audiences in the country, I guess.

Critics Notebook:
Random Note:
With all the fashion-fail Affliction/Hardy types in this town, you have to give credit to the graying, 60-something, blues fan guys in the black t shirt/black blazer combos. Fucking cool, man.

By the way: Opener Moreland & Arbuckle warmed it up with gooey, lonely-train harmonica-blues from Wichita, KS. But...what's up with the trend of blues acts sans a bass player? Rocco Deluca did it too...

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