Buddy Guy with Robert Randolph and the Family Band

First Council Casino
November 14, 2013
By Jeb Wright
Photos by Marty O'
Little Newkirk, Oklahoma got the blues on November 14th but don’t be sad…it was a good thing!  The blues came to town not by way of factory layoffs, tragedy or a mean woman but instead via two musicians, one making a name for himself and the other a true icon of the genre.
Robert Randolph and the Family Band are touring in support of their amazing new album titled Lickity Split, which is being lauded as the best effort he has put out in his career.  The unique slide guitar player literally changes the way the instrument has been traditionally played and his stock is going up every time he takes the stage. 
Randolph tears up that little stand that holds his slide guitar as he wails…we mean wails on the thing.  He plays with distortion, a wah pedal and even his tongue.  And if he breaks a string?  No big deal at all.  He keeps on going and makes up for it without missing a beat. During this set he rocked the crowd with his feel good vibe, getting the biggest reaction when he jammed out his ode to Mr. Jimi Hendrix “Purple Haze.” 
Randolph and his band, who are literally his family…well, all but the white dude, warmed up the crowd with a short set leaving everyone to comment on two things…the first on how damn good he is and the second on how they wish they could see him perform a headline set.  As good as he was, and no matter how many compliments he received, the crowd was there, however, to see Mr. Buddy Guy!
When the opening notes of “Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues” blasted out into the concert hall the Buddy faithful jumped to their feet and started dancing.  There was swinging, swaying, woman crying and guys screaming out for Buddy to work his Mojo, which he did a few songs later when he pulled out “Got My Mojo Working.” Buddy was in the mood to play and in the mood to play with the crowd.  He talked, joked and told stories, bringing to life the history of the blues right before the audience’s appreciative eyes.
He talked about Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton like they were guys he hung out with at the barbershop.  He told tales of wine, woman, guitars and the glory days and made us smile the entire performance.  He walked through the crowd while wailing away on the guitar and even snuck into the ladies room just because he could. 
When he broke a string he unwound it, walked to the front of the stage and gave it as a gift to a pretty lady.  Buddy’s got game…and he’s got class.  He still jams it out hard and heavy on the guitar too.  At times he would mute the instrument, scratching the strings with his hands and thrusting his hips, all the while with a big smile on his face.  No matter how many years he has been doing what he does, he still loves it and it still shows.
Even when only two or three people in the audience new the name of his new album, Buddy made a joke about it—and then told everyone they were for sale at the merchandise booth.  He sang a few naughty songs where a woman tried to milk a bull…you get the idea and then he jammed out a bluesy version of the Cream classic “Strange Brew!” 
At the end of the evening it didn’t matter if it was “Hootchie Chootcie Man,” “She’s Nineteen Years Old,” Skin Deep” or “Meet Me in Chicago” Buddy played it with all he had all the while grinning ear-to-ear.  And he even summoned Robert Randolph back to the stage and jammed out with the younger bluesman for nearly the entire set. 
The crowd may have been sparse on this chilly Thursday evening but Buddy didn’t care.  This guy has been through it all, seen it all, done it all, bought the T-shirt, had it stolen off his back and then done it all again, so a small crowd didn’t do him no harm.  He just relaxed, jammed with his band, had fun hanging out with his biggest fans in the area that came to see him and played them some mean ass blues.

They don’t make ‘em like Buddy anymore.