Madison Ribberfest Blues Bash
a pioneer of Chicago blues
will close out festival on Saturday
(August 2011) If any living musician has earned
the title blues legend, it is Buddy Guy, the Saturday headliner
for the Madison Ribberfest.
Guys guitar playing laid the foundation of Chicago blues and influenced
such rock guitarists as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy
Page and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
For nearly the past half century hes been one of the most
daring and sophisticated guitar players in electric blues, said
music critic Ted Drozdowski.
Clapton calls Guy simply the best guitar player alive. He
said, Buddy Guy is to me what Elvis was for others.
5 p.m.: Gates open
6 p.m.: Davina & The Vagabonds
8 p.m.: Tinsley Ellis
10 p.m.: Ronnie Baker Brooks
11 a.m.: Gates open
11:30 a.m.: Mike Milligan & Steam Shovel
1:30 p.m.: Ray Fuller & The Bluesrockers
3:30 p.m.: V-Groove
5:30 p.m.: Big Bill Morganfield
7:30 p.m.: Pigmania Awards on Stage
7:30 p.m.: Sugar Ray & The Bluetones
9 p.m.: Quinn Sullivan
9:30 p.m.: Buddy Guy
11:30 p.m.: Festival closes
Ribberfest organizers say it is a special treat for them
to host Guy as the main headliner for the 10th anniversary festival.
Hell play from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at Madisons
Guy will close out a weekend of barbeque and blues on the riverfront.
At age 75, Guy is as energetic as ever on stage and keeps up an amazing
He may be in his 70s, but hes a very dynamic guy,
said David Butler, who co-chairs the Ribberfest music selection committee
with Rocky Harrell. This is a very big act for Madison.
Guy has been called the bridge between the blues and rock and roll.
Whether their preference runs to blues or rock, Ribberfest festival-goers
can expect a riveting performance.
New York Times music critic Jon Pareles described a 2004 performance
in this way: Mr. Guy, 68, mingles anarchy, virtuosity, deep blues
and hammy shtick in ways that keep all eyes on him
extremes: sudden drops from loud to soft, or a sweet, sustained guitar
solo followed by a jolt of speed, or a high, imploring vocal cut off
with a rasp
Whether hes singing with gentle menace or bending
new curves into a blue note, he is a master of tension and release,
and his every wayward impulse is riveting.
One of the most fascinating things about Guy is his stage presence.
His flamboyant showmanship far outshines others as he plays his guitar
with drumsticks, strolls into the audience while playing solos and picks
the guitar with his teeth or plays it over his head.
The best accolades come from his fellow musicians.
Vaughan once said, Buddy can go from one end of the spectrum to
another. He can play quieter than anybody Ive ever heard, or wilder
and louder than anybody Ive ever heard. I play pretty loud a lot
of times, but Buddys tones are incredible. He pulls such emotion
out of so little volume.
Beck commented, He transcended blues and started becoming theater.
It was high art, kind of like drama theater when he played, you know.
He was playing behind his head long before Hendrix. I once saw him throw
the guitar up in the air and catch it in the same chord.
Former rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman said, Guitar legends
do not come any better than Buddy Guy. He is feted by his peers and
loved by his fans for his ability to make the guitar both talk and cry
the blues. Such is Buddys mastery of the guitar that there is
virtually no guitarist that he cannot imitate.
Born and raised in Lettsworth, La., Guy was a pioneer of the Chicago
blues sound. He learned to play guitar on a two string diddley bow he
concocted. He later upgraded to a Harmony acoustic guitar which has
since been donated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
blues great Buddy Guy
will headline this years Madison
Ribberfest Blues Bash on Saturday night.
In 1957, Guy moved to Chicago and was greatly influenced
by blues great Muddy Waters. When it came time to record his own material,
his style was similar to his live shows and not what his record producer,
Chess Records, wanted to release. As a result, he was used mainly as
a session guitarist to back Waters, Howlin Wolf, Little Walter,
Sonny Boy Williamson and Koko Taylor. Although he was signed with Chess
from 1959 to 1968, his only released album during that period was 1967s
Left My Blues in San Francisco.
By the late 1960s, his career was declining as he was increasingly overlooked
for all he had accomplished. However his fellow musicians didnt
forget him. During the 1970s, Guy opened for the Rolling Stones on some
of their tours.
But with the blues revival of the late 1980s and early 1990s, Guys
career received its second wind. As a result of Claptons request
that he be part of the 24 Nights all-star blues guitar lineup
at Londons Royal Albert Hall in 1991, Guy went on to sign with
The guitar legend has earned six Grammy Awards for his work on electric
and acoustic guitars, and for contemporary and traditional forms of
blues music. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2003.
Guy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 14, 2005,
by Clapton and B.B. King.
Guy has earned the rank of 30th in Rolling Stone magazines list
of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Billboard magazine
has awarded him its Century Award for distinguished artistic achievement
and the title of Greatest Living Electric Blues Guitarist.
For his Madison performance, Guy asked the Ribberfest organizers if
he could bring along this protégé, 12-year-old guitar
prodigy Quinn Sullivan. Sullivan will take the stage at 9 p.m. Saturday
for a 30-minute set.
A guitarist since age 5, Sullivan got his first big break at
age 6 playing on The Ellen Degeneris Show.
He first played with Guy in 2007 during a performance in his hometown,
New Bedford, Mass. Sullivan made a guest appearance on Guys Grammy-nominated
2008 album Skin Deep, and he has played his own live set
at numerous Buddy Guy performances since 2009. Sullivan released his
debut album, Cyclone, this year.
Back to 2011 Ribberfest Articles.