Written by Michael Pittman
ImageAs just about anyone who is even just a casual fan of the blues will tell you, blues isn’t just about the music. It’s really more of a lifestyle from which the blues spring.

Seeing Buddy Guy is like watching and hearing history unfold in the rawest terms (definitely not afraid to drop the f-bomb at the drop of his white hat). From his mentor Muddy Waters to Hendrix to Stevie Ray to tonights’ opener Ana Popovic, at 78 years old, Buddy Guy has seen it all.

Stevie Ray Vaughn was quoted as saying ‘If there wasn’t a Buddy Guy, there wouldn’t be a Stevie Ray Vaughn’.

So tonight it was totally about the blues, but I’m not sure he even finished a song because he’d vamp when a song would remind him of a time, or a story, or a person to tell you about. ‘You think you know more about the blues than I do??..then tell me so we’ll both know’.

Playing without a set list, he explained, was so that he could play what we wanted to hear. The 90 minute set rocked through Messin With The Kid and Damn Right I Got the Blues. We heard Hoochie-Coochie Man done as Waters himself would have. Seventh Son got thrown in somewhere too, but mostly the night was about his guitar.

Opening with a masterful guitar solo which stretched on long enough to remind us all why Buddy Guy is still here. With all the dials on his guitar and amps turned up to 10, that classic Fender blues sound resounded with the soul of the blues to the packed House of Blues.

Did I say packed? As in wall to wall with no pit. There were fans of ALL ages, from families bringing the kids out to see the legend for the first time, to the veterans of countless shows and able to relate to the history Buddy so eloquently expounded. Yea…I remember that… and yea, I saw Hendrix play Woodoo Child just LIKE that!

I don’t remember which song it was, but Guy unleashed a massive guitar solo while circling the auditorium. Even the balcony wasn’t spared the musical onslaught and the flashes from all the cell phone cameras only fanned the flames.

It was later that he brought two players from the audience up to solo, seemingly ad lib. In fact I think the only thing he didn’t do was invite Ana Popovic back to the stage for a guitar duel. (She could have easily held her own by the way).

This was the blues, as good as it gets and as honest as it gets. Good music….really good music.