Buddy Guy and the Damn Right Blues Band Heat Up a Hot Summer Night at the Sandler Center
Virginia Beach, VA
August 22, 2017
Photographer/Writer: Mark Robbins
When 81 years old Buddy Guy walked from stage left to the the microphone center stage of the Sandler Center the audience was already on it’s feet. That’s how it’s been for the past 50 plus years, whether sharing the stage with Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and others or, like Tuesday night, just him backed by the Damn Right Blues Band.
Guy came to have a good time and wanted to make sure everybody else did to, he was just as comfortable talking and interacting with the audience as he was playing and singing. He casually reminisced about his Louisiana childhood, his family, his first guitar and many more stories throughout the night.
As much as the crowd loved hearing the stories they came to hear him sing and play and he didn’t disappoint! From Johnnie Taylor’s “Who’s Making Love” ( the audience sang the chorus, “Who’s making love to your old lady, while you were out making love”), “Sister’s Milking the Bull”, letting the audience fill in the blue lyrics, paying tribute to John Lee Hooker with “Boom Boom” and more standards from the blues catalog.
Two highlights of the evening featured two members of the Damn Right Blues Band, Ric “Jaz” Hall blew up the room with a blistering solo during “Five Long Years” and Marty Sammon who jammed so hard and fast on the keyboard he seemed to have 100 fingers.
For years Guy has been walking through the audience as he plays, stopping for photos, dueting with audience members and Tuesday was no different. Sandler Center is not a small room but Guy covered the entire downstairs singing “I Just Want to Make Love to You”. Returning to the stage he called out the show’s opening act, Quinn Sullivan, to come out and help him close the show. The 20 year old has been under Buddy Guy’s wing since he was 8 years old. In his decade long career Sullivan has played with Eric Clapton, Los Lobos, The Roots, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi, and Joe Bonamassa. Write down his name because Quinn Sullivan is the real deal and his star is on the rise.
At the end of the 3 hour show the crowd would have stayed for another 3 hours. Buddy Guy shows no signs of slowing down, when he performs “Born to Play Guitar” he means it and we’re the better for it.