Jan 09

Buddy Guy at Legends (1/22/09)

It was close to 11:00 p.m. when Buddy Guy came onto the stage of Buddy Guy’s Legends, his blues club on south Wabash in Chicago. He’s quite the showman and crowd-pleaser—and they ate it up (as did I). He sang some songs with a little innuendo to titillate the suburbanites and tourists in the crowd. He played free form with one song morphing into another. It was sometimes hard to see his playing because of the angle at which he stood and where I was sitting, but I enjoyed watching him. His outstanding band included drums, bass and rhythm guitars and keyboards. The downside of his set was that it was too often punishingly loud.

Guy uses a wireless system for his guitar (a Fender Stratocaster, of course), so he isn’t connected to his amplifier by a cable. While he continued to play, he walked out through the audience. It was another crowd-pleasing moment and people were firing away with their cameras. Buddy’s final piece of showbiz was throwing guitar picks from the stage into the audience or handing them out to those up front. I confess I would have liked to have gotten one if I could.

Jan 09

Guitar Lesson

At my guitar lesson (I managed to get in two 30-minute practice sessions before I went), my teacher, Jim Goelitz, talked about phrasing, specifically the three-part phrasing in a 12-bar blues (AAB pattern like the words usually follow). I tried it couple of times, but it feels challenging. Just playing a phrase that’s simple enough to remember so I could repeat it seems challenging and then to do three four-bar phrases is another challenge. I hope I have time after I get home to at least go over the John Lee Hooker riff he gave me before his vacation and which I didn’t practice. He went over it with me, so I want to practice it while I still remember what he showed me. I often have trouble remembering things he shows me if he doesn’t write them down.