Music » Livewire

Buddy Guy

With the Walkin' Cane Band. Wednesday, March 13, at the Agora.

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Buddy Guy
  • Buddy Guy

Most "modern" blues is garbage: Well-intentioned but relentlessly banal 12-bar hooey that shoots for old-time authenticity, only to end up sipping Orange Juliuses in lukewarm, ultra-slick Mall America.

Leave it to 65-year-old Buddy Guy to buck this trend.

Last year, the legendary Chicago guitarist ducked into a Mississippi studio, borrowed a few songs from Fat Possum label big shots like T-Model Ford and Junior Kimbrough, and ducked back out with Sweet Tea, a stark, raving, shockingly primal blues dirge that strips down Guy's gutbucket sound both sonically and lyrically.

All the bases are covered: sex, death, Satan. Cue up "Done Got Old," powered only by Guy's acoustic guitar and fearsome growl, and try not to be terrified. Seven songs and several flame-throwing solos later, he's thrashing around with "I Gotta Try You Girl," dropping subtle hints like "We've gotta make love like we've never made love before." Here's a guy who can take a tune as inevitably clichéd as "Baby Please Don't Leave Me" and still scare the crap out of you. He sounds reverent, authentic, otherworldly. He sounds like a god.

Odds are he won't be any less dominant in person.

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