Your Complete Guide to the Chicago Blues Scene
March 31, 2012
Buddy Guy’s Legends
By James Porter
Photos: Dianne Dunklau
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There is something about the second set of the night that loosens
everybody up, especially at Buddy Guy's Legends. For the first show of
the evening, the house was packed as usual on a Saturday night. Mud and
his men were in fine form, even if the sound left something to be
desired (the fine harmonica work of
got lost in the mix, barely being heard). But for set #2, there was a
sense of the pressure being off, with both musicians and audience
decidedly more relaxed. While the Legends crowd is known for sticking
around for the first set only, that just deprived them of even better
music later on.
Mud performed most of his new CD throughout the night, including his original songs “Health” and “Love To Flirt,” along with covers of his dad’s classics “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had.” The one exception to the low-key feel of Mud’s first set was during his self-penned tune, “Catfishing,” when he brandished a fishing pole and somehow “lured” a young woman in a tight purple outfit to the stage for some exciting bumps and grinds.
He was backed by many of the same musicians heard on the record,
including Hinds and Corritore, guitarist
(who played in Muddy’s band), keyboardist
(whose late father Willie “Big Eyes” Smith drummed for Muddy), and
It was the exactly the sort of ace ensemble that Muddy would have used
to back him.
It was a nice little program. But as stated earlier, those who decided to leave during the midway point missed the better part of the show. The band was loosened up, and there were great cameos from vocalists Deitra Farr and Katherine Davis. The band played louder and the harp players were finally audible. Morganfield returned in an all-black outfit, emoting like wildfire and joking with the audience.
By contrast, the show was opened by the Chicago Blues Angels, a lively quartet who were out to get you from the gitgo, with the vocals of Herman Hines offset by the guitar of Mando Cortez, backed by drums and a standup bassist. Even the ballads, like the old R&B standard "Please Accept My Love," radiated high energy (in a good way). They did a good job of getting the party started.