Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph at Denver Botanic Gardens, 9/1/12 (photos and review) - Reverb

Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph at Denver Botanic Gardens, 9/1/12 (photos and review)

In a perfect paring of artists, pedal steel guitar master Robert Randolph and his gospel road show heated up the stage for legendary Chicago blues pioneer Buddy Guy at Denver Botanic Gardens on Saturday.

Randolph and the Family Band got people off their picnic blankets and out off their lawn chairs with “If I Had My Way” and “Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong With That.” Randolph’s high energy show also included covers of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” and Bob Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm.”

The 76-year-old Buddy Guy took the stage as a full moon rose over the venue. From blues rift to breaks, what sets Guy apart as a guitar legend is his ability to leave his own sustained notes in the dust by chasing after them with lighting quick licks. With over 60 years of performances under his belt, Guy has no problem letting his raunchy old self show through with songs about teenage girls and covers of blues songs he learned first hand from the artists who wrote or made them initially famous.

It was covering one of these great blues standards, “Hoochie Coochie Man,” (Willie Dixon, 1954) that drew Guy’s biggest interaction with the crowd when he assumed everyone was singing along with him. When the line “He’s gonna be a son of a gun” came up, Guy’s voice dropped out and so did the audience.

“Wait a second.” Guy stopped the show. “Now I was in India last week and they all (expletive) knew the words. Let’s try this again.” The song restarted, and the audience members, having learned their lesson, screamed the line.

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Evan Semón is a Denver freelance writer and photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. See more of his work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Speedbump/681985412 Jim Speedbump

    First time to see Buddy? The Hoochie Coochie Man line has been used in every show for at least 20 years. Buddy did throw a few newer songs into the mix, including an instant classic “I am 76 years old!”. The show seemed to be cut short a little due to voice issues, Guy did not walk through the crowd and have a pretty lady or young child help him with the extended guitar solo.
    Speaking of kids….what was going on with so many at the Chatfield show? What kind of reasoning is there behind bringing a 6 year old (and many younger) to listen to a man singing and cussing about booze, drugs and women? Very poor parenting that was a major distraction to the rest of us who had to put up with the distraction that shouldn’t be there.