Blues for Two
Jonny Lang and Buddy Guy perform at the Kirby
The Diamond City will be the setting for a special show featuring two of blues’ most sought after six-string slingers. Blues legends Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang will co-headline a concert at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. The two guitarists will continue to tour together until mid-March.
Six-time Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame royalty Buddy Guy is considered a pioneer of the Chicago blues sound and has served as an influence to some of the most notable musicians of his generation, including the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and the late Stevie Ray Vaughn. Ranked 30th in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”, Guy is best known for his show-stopping stage moves and attitude-infused guitar licks. Guy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 14, 2005 by Eric Clapton and B.B. King. Clapton recalled seeing Guy perform in London’s Marquee Club in 1965, blowing him away with his technique and wild showmanship. He remembered seeing Guy play the guitar with his teeth and over his head, only later to be mimicked by Jimi Hendrix. Guy’s acceptance speech into the Hall was short, sweet and to the point: “If you don’t think you have the blues, just keep living.”
In October 2009, he performed “Let Me Love You Baby” with Jeff Beck at the 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concert. Last year, he performed at the White House for President Barack Obama, and successfully encouraged the President to sing a few bars of “Sweet Home Chicago.” He also received Kennedy Center Honors in 2012, where actor Morgan Freeman offered a special salute to Guy during the ceremony: “You found a new music that no one had ever heard before. You made a bridge from roots to rock n’ roll.”
Jonny Lang first started playing guitar at the age of 12 and soon released his debut album, Smokin’, under the name Kid Jonny Lang and The Big Bang two years later. He has since released four more studio albums, including the Grammy Award-winning Turn Around in 2006, as well as a live record, Live at the Ryman.
Lang has toured with the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, B.B. King, Blues Traveler, Jeff Beck and Sting. In 1999 he was invited to play for a White House audience, including President and Mrs. Clinton.
— tom graham
Catch blues legends Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang co-headlining show at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, February 23 at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $49 to $99 and are on sale at the Kirby Center Box Office, by phone at 826-1100 and online at www.kirbycenter.org.