|Steve, Liz, Mary Jo and Bud|
I never got the chance to see Jimi Hendrix perform. But I've seen Buddy Guy, and that's the next best thing.
Buddy, who also was a huge influence to Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan, performed Friday night at the historic Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. I hadn't seen a show at the Arcada before, and I gotta say it was a wonderful experience! It has that old vaudeville/movie house charm and grandeur of theaters like the Rialto in Joliet and Paramount in Aurora, but it's smaller, cozier and more fun.
|Mike and Jon|
He's simply the best living blues guitarist. I mean no disrespect to B.B. King, who was a mentor to Buddy, along with Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon. At age 78, Buddy still rocks like no other. His band, which includes the great Marty Sammon on keyboards, features some of the best players in the world.
|Buddy in the Arcada balcony|
One of the best hours of my professional life was when I got to interview Buddy, in 2008, when I still worked for the company that publishes the Chicago Sun-Times. We chatted, and he was real friendly, though he has a way of steering the conversation to the stories he feels like telling, regardless of the questions you ask.
At the end of the interview, Buddy reached into a mini-fridge and pulled out a Mason jar of clear liquid. He said it was real Tennessee moonshine--the good stuff. He poured us each a shot and we drank it. That was a good day.
|Ivy Ford with J.B. Ritchie|
So, it was a really fun time on a cold November night in St. Charles. The Arcada is a great venue that books a lot of big-name rock and blues acts that are still making good music. Buddy played for two hours and delivered a very satisfying show.
|Merch counter man at the Arcada|