Fifty years ago, if you could play at all, somebody knew about you, he said, “Because we had all of those little clubs you could go in.”
Guy is doing his part to keep the blues going by touring extensively and bringing his music directly to the people. He also makes a point of touting young blues talents. In this interview, he talked up Gary Clark Jr., who guests on the song “Blues Don’t Care” from “Rhythm & Blues,” and a 14-year-old guitar phenom, Quinn Sullivan, whom he first saw play when Sullivan was just 9.
And those who see Guy’s energetic live show might get excited enough about the blues to check out other blues artists of the present and past. Guy tries to cater to his audiences from night to night by not working from a set list.
“I go to the stage, and you can hear people,” Guy said. “They’ll call out a song. I’ll look at my band and say, ‘Let’s do it.’ That’s why I’m here. That’s why this particular fan came to hear me.”
“I listen to the audience,” he said. “I’m going to give you the best that I got, whatever I do. But I don’t go there saying I’m going to drive, ‘Damn Right, I Got The Blues’ down your throat. You might want to hear ‘Slippin’ In.’ Or you might want to hear me try to do something like Muddy Waters.”
If You Go :What: Buddy Guy in concert. When: 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 3. Where: Boarding House Park, 40 French St., Lowell. How: Tickets are $44 in advance/ $50 day of show. Call 978-970-5200 or www.lowellsummermusic.org/page.php?page=root/home.htm. AND What: Buddy Guy with George Thorogood and Quinn Sullivan. When: 7 p.m., Aug. 11. Where: Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook, 72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, N.H. How: Tickets are $64, $50.75, $39, $23.25 (plus service charge). Call 603-293-4700 or http://www.meadowbrook.net/.