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Buddy Guy with Special Guests: Buddy Guy

Mon. November 10th 2008 7:30pm doors at 6:30pm Royal Theatre (All Ages) 7:30pm doors at 6:30pm
Adult: $49.50 & $39.50
Tickets at: MacPherson Playhouse Box office,
Presented by: Live Nation
Any discussion of Buddy Guy invariably involves a recitation of his colossal musical resume and hard-earned accolades. He’s a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, a chief guitar influence to rock titans like Hendrix, Clapton, Beck, and Vaughan, a pioneer of Chicago’s fabled West Side sound, and a living link to that city’s halcyon days of electric blues.

Buddy has received five Grammy Awards, 23 W.C. Handy Blues Awards (the most any artist has received), the Billboard Magazine Century Award for distinguished artistic achievement, and the Presidential National Medal of Arts.

Yet despite this long list of achievements, Buddy Guy and his music remain as vital as ever. Just this year, Buddy appeared on the big screen nationwide with a show-stopping performance in Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Stones concert film, Shine A Light. At the age of 72, he appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone for the first time, as part of the magazine’s “100 Greatest Guitar Songs” package (his cataclysmic 1961 recording of “Stone Crazy” made the list). And now, the release of Skin Deep—an album of all original material, with guest appearances from fellow guitar wizards Eric Clapton, Robert Randolph, Susan Tedeschi, and Derek Trucks—adds yet another dimension to this master’s legendary career.

Though Buddy Guy will forever be associated with Chicago, his incredible story actually begins in Louisiana. Born in 1936 to a sharecropper’s family and raised on a plantation near the small town of Lettsworth, located some 140 miles northwest of New Orleans, George “Buddy” Guy was one of five children born to Sam and Isabel Guy. Skin Deep’s “Out in the Woods” hearkens back to those early years—and to one of his signature songs, “The First Time I Met the Blues,” with its unforgettable opening lines, “The first time I met the blues/I was walking through the woods.” (“I was born in the woods, that’s the facts of life,” says Guy, “but people don’t know about that.”)

He addresses the issue of racism on the soulful title song of the new album, getting right to heart of the matter with a powerful series of personal memories and observations on the ways in which “underneath, we’re all the same.” Guy elaborates on his inspiration for “Skin Deep” with a story.

Buddy Guy says he’s excited about the new ground broken on Skin Deep, and about continuing to find new challenges to set for himself. “If you get too old to learn, you might as well go out of this world backwards,” he says. “It’s like being a prizefighter—if you lay down, you never have a chance to win. But if you keep punching, you might hit ‘em with the one that lays ‘em down.

“My eyes and ears are wide open,” he concludes. “You never know what’s gonna happen.”
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