Rock It: Bluesman Buddy Guy to shred the stage at Purdue

Posted on November 14, 2013


Rock It: Bluesman Buddy Guy to shred the stage at Purdue

Buddy Guy getty images

Buddy Guy (Getty Images)

By: Rachael Mattice

It is debatable as to who is the biggest act Purdue University has welcomed in the past several years, top contenders being Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg and Luke Bryan.

Although their ticket sales show evidence of their popularity, none of them comes close to years in the business, the influential mark and lifetime accomplishments of one of the last original American bluesmen standing, Buddy Guy.

Coming to the Loeb Playhouse this Saturday, Buddy Guy has been ranked 30th on Rolling Stone magazine’s top 100 greatest guitarists of all time, is a six-time Grammy award winner, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is a 23-time winner of the W.C. Handy Blues Award, and most importantly, will be honored this year at The Kennedy Center for their 35th annual arts celebration.

His homeland on a farm in Louisiana led him north to the streets of Chicago, creating a historic link with Muddy Waters and Howlin’Wolf in the 1950s and early ’60s that energized the Chicago Blues style. Guy built a distinctive sound on his guitar that uses a distorted, high volume with use of feedback, one that other guitar virtuosos over the past 50 years such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Stevie Ray Vaughan would mimic.

Still producing albums at age 76, Guy keeps the electrical influence flowing, exemplified with one of Saturday’s openers, Tweed Funk. Guy’s latest record “Living Proof” sounds as youthful as he preaches, regenerating the origins of rock n’ roll and blues for a new wave of fans.

Buddy Guy’s traditional style shreds unpredictability that is aggressive and gritty. His imploring solos from “74 Years Young” and “Too Soon” from “Living Proof” are blistering and straight soul, he makes music to get lost in.

His older songs such as “Stone Crazy,” “Sweet Home Chicago” and “Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues” really showcased his talent and helped his techniques to gain attention – walking out in the audience during solos and plucking his strings with drumsticks, to name a few.

Listen to a few of Buddy Guy’s Songs:

– “Stone Crazy”

– “Mustang Sally”

– “Cheaper to Keep Her”

– “74 Years Young”

– “Stay Around a Little Longer”

Speed and sudden drops from loud to soft on his guitar aside, Guy’s designated raspy vocals belt out true-life lyrics of wisdom and humor.

When writing his tracks both lyrically and instrumentally, he listens to the radio and other people’s conversations to get an idea for a song and recreates it in his own lick, Guy has said in past interviews. However, “Stay Around a Little Longer” from “Living Proof” is completely autobiographical, full of emotion and reminiscence, featuring the other living blues engineer, B. B. King.

Guaranteed to play with conviction and conjure powerful riffs, Buddy Guy’s first time, sold out Purdue appearance will demonstrate why he will be receiving a lifetime achievement award.

Mattice is a producer and music journalist for the Journal & Courier. She can be reached on Twitter @RachaelM_JC.

Posted in: "Rock It" Column