Keeping the blues alive and well

Damn right, farewell

While the end of the study year was approaching for the blues brothers Corné and Marten, the 86 (!) years old living legend Buddy Guy announced he’d perform at the Northseajazz festival in the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands for his last tour ”damn right farewell”. This announcement left some divide between the two brothers. Corné had no doubt about going to this festival but Marten was doubtful because he was not that much interested in the other performances at the festival. This meant that Corné had to persuade Marten but it turned out that not much persuasion was needed after all when Marten realized this was the last chance to witness one of the greatest performers of all time, Buddy Guy. Corne’s mission was accomplished, which left him singing “I’m such a strong persuader”.

Northseajazz festival 2023 planning

On the seventh of July, the lonesomefools woke up full of excitement as they knew they would finally physically experience one of their favorite artists of all time after watching all possible live performances online of the living legend. On a hot summer day, the lonesomefools met at the central train station of Rotterdam to walk to their accommodation and get some lunch while discussing the planning of the Northseajazzfestival. We agreed on starting with going to the composition project of Yannick Hiwat, following up with a performance of Van Morrison leading to the performance of the living legend Buddy Guy. We already assumed we would need some cooldown after the energetic performance style of Buddy Guy. Hence, we planned to go to the Teskey brothers afterwords who are breaking through with their unique sound influenced by blues, soul, southern rock, and Americana. To give a good ending to our festival we agreed on finishing the festival with the London-based rapper Stormzy.

While there were a lot of great artists and performances it was damn clear we came for the one and only Buddy Guy. So we made sure we got a good spot for his performance and arrived 45 minutes before his performance at the stage. To find a good spot we got helped by some welcoming blues fans who likewise came exclusively for the living legend. During our waiting for Buddy Guy to arrive, we got increasingly excited for the performance to begin while we were discussing some blues legends with the other fans. By talking to other blues fans, the lonesomefools felt some reassurance about the future of the blues.

Buddy guy: the joker of blues

The stage was set from the moment Buddy guy entered the stage. The energy was contagious and the crowd went nuts from the first second. Starting with the familiar singing/screaming and the perfect guitar tone which still was as energetic as 40 years ago, we knew this would be a legendary show. Starting with his blues classic ‘damn right I’ve got the blues’ which was followed up with some hilarious guitar acts such as in the video above it got clear how special this legend truly was and is. We would label his type of performance as comedy and simultaneously some of the best guitar techniques we have seen which proved to be a golden combination. As this was Buddy’s last tour, he gave a glimpse of some blues classics so that the crowd would not forget about the blues. Hence, we got Hendrix’ ‘voodoo child’ (with some guitar playing with Buddy’s teeth), BB Kings ‘How blue can you get?’, John Lee Hookers ‘Boom Boom’, Muddy waters ‘Hoochie coochie man’. Furthermore, Buddy started playing the riff of ‘sunshine of your love’ with drumsticks on his six string which consequently left the audience with a laugh. He continued his comedy with playing with a towel that he later threw into the audience. As we came close to the end of the show, Buddy got a profound message for us, the inhabitants of the world with his song ‘skin deep’ which can be seen in the video below.

As the lonesomefools left the festival for a cold beer in the inner city of Rotterdam, the brothers still didn’t comprehend what they had witnessed. It took at least a week to truly realize that it might have been the best performance they had ever seen. But should we even be surprised? After all, it is the legendary Buddy Guy we’re talking about and apparently age does not matter as long as the artist still has the full passion for his ‘job’.

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