Suburban Blues – Buddy Guy Plays The Canyon Club

Blues In The Key Of Suburbia… Blues in Suburbia… Blues In Some Bourbon… Any of these titles would work.  It’s just a matter of nuance, I suppose.  Well, the last one is (at least I would to like to think so) a clever word play and a little something extra.  Hell, Buddy talked about drinking… and we all talked about what was in that tea-cup of his, on stage… all guessing what it was that he called his “medicine.”

There are not many Bluesmen left… or women… Sadly, they seem to be a dying breed.  I thank the heavens for going to school so close to Chicago and being smart enough to go out and catch many of the greats… Albert Collins, Albert King, Willie Dixon, Koko Taylor, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Junior Wells… and of course guys who are still kicking it like James Cotton, B.B. King and Buddy Guy.

I missed a lot of the mainstream bands at the time… not sure why… So odd… But I saw a lot of blues… especially after I started playing the harp… That’s harmonica for y’all out of the Blues loop.  That also brings up yet another regret… Okay, I need to stop with that… because at this point I just regret having regrets…

Yes, I left Chicago way too early on.  Should have given it and The Second City a full go… Sigh… and the other day I realized how long it has been since I have actually played the harp regularly… Way too long.  I could have been a master by now… They would have been calling me Little Marc… or Magic Marc… or… or…

Why did I bring that up?  Because seeing and hearing and experiencing the blues for me was defined in Chicago.  That is my touchstone.  And I hate to say it, but nothing else comes close.

In Chicago you could wander into a club, drop five or 10 bucks… and see a master… a legend… Sure if it was a huge name you might have to plan ahead, but the scene was a lot more casual and a lot more alive.. and the sets would go to two in the morning… or later!  Oh man!

There is nothing wrong with seeing the blues out here… out in suburbia… especially when it’s so close to my house… but… it’s different.  It just is.  I know that going from town to town is the way to save the music… keep it alive and vital… share it with the people, but I miss those days of wandering around the city just randomly picking a place… Biddy Mulligan’s, B.L.U.E.S., etc… Mama Rosa’s… Kingston Mines…

So we go to the Sunset Strip… to the House of Blues… We go to the Blues nights at the Hollywood Bowl… and the Greek… and out to Agoura to The Canyon Club get our fix… If we are lucky, we make our way out to the Arcadia Blues Club and catch a legend… or a should be and hopefully will be legend like Guitar Jack Wargo… I know he’s a friend, but I am telling you, this man can play and shred and will simply blow you away.

The Blues had a baby and they called it Rock n’ Roll!  So support your music daddy… Listen to the Blues!  Buy the records!  And go out there and find it live…

Buddy Guy – The Canyon Club (Sunday, November 10, 2013)

Maybe it was because it was a Sunday… but the packed house was a little subdued… I mean don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of folks into it… but not an across the board thing… which was… strange…

Buddy would say something… like mentioning his latest, double CD and the applause was a bit… tepid…

Okay… you know what it is.  It’s not that LA crowds are not into the music.  They are… It’s that LA crowds… many times… are too afraid to let themselves go… to allow themselves to become a part of the music… to let their arms flail and their bodies move and give in to the sounds.  They keep it at a distance.  Keep it in that tight, safe circle.  I say screw it.  The music needs to get into your soul and come out of your ass… which I mean by shaking your bootie.  It needs to move you across the floor… and who the hell cares what you look like as long as you feel it… Says the guy who keeps his eyes shut and makes funny faces while playing the harp!

But even with that… Buddy played… Man, did he play!

Buddy played the guitar with his teeth, his ass, his crotch, a drumstick, a towel and oh yeah… a pick and his fingers… He cussed and told stories and was having a hell of a time… Watching him is a joy… and his band… Wow!  Each and every one of these guys will blow your mind!  So tight… so right…

Orlando Wright on bass… the amazing and super friendly great guy, Ric Hall on guitar… Tim Austin on drums… and I have never seen the likes of Marty Sammon on keys… talk about putting your entire body and soul into the music.  Damn!  They did a call and repeat at one point that slayed me.

I cannot find a setlist anywhere because he does not use one… and I sure wish I could find out what song had him signing:
“I don’t drink because I like it.
I drink to ease my weary mind.”

Goole gives me nothing.  Bastards… He opened with “Damn Right I Got the Blues” and then launched into a great set, including: “Five Long Years”, “Someone Else Is Steppin’ In (Slippin’ Out, Slippin’ In)”, “Rock Me Baby”, “I Want to Get Close to You”, “What’d I Say?”, “Meet Me in Chicago”, “Skin Deep”, “I Just Wanna Make Love To You”, some “Voodoo Child” and “Sunshine Of Your Love” and one of my all time favorites “Messin’ With The Kid”… Yes, I first heard it courtesy of The Blues Brothers… but Junior Well’s version of the Mel London tune is my favorite… however he does it… and he recorded it A LOT.

At one point Buddy walked off stage, through the green room and billiard room and played by the bar on the left side of the house… I could not see a damn thing… and could not or did not make my way over there… Stupid… I did not want to lose my space… and it was a bit too congested.

The crowd went nuts… Reminded me of the times Albert Collins would walk out on to the street corner, and play… never missing a note from the time left the stage and walked out the door to the time he climbed back up… Awesome…

I figured someone would post it… but I have yet to see a thing… Come on, Agoura!  Maybe that is my issue with the blues in the suburbs… Everyone had their damn iPhones and cameras out… but where is the video?  Or maybe I just miss the Windy City…


1 Comment

Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Live Music Reviews, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

One response to “Suburban Blues – Buddy Guy Plays The Canyon Club

  1. Beth

    I so get the touchstone…and share your regret about moving away from Chicago too soon. Loved the bars/clubs you mentioned especially Kingston mines and Biddy m.

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