Buddy Guy & Junior Wells | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Buddy Guy & Junior Wells


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Buddy Guy and Junior Wells worked together for so long--steadily from the 60s through the 70s and sporadically well into the next decade--that a lot of people never stopped to consider how unlikely a musical combination they really were: Guy's slash-and-burn guitar style melding with the warbling subtleties of Wells's harmonica blowing; Wells's street-tough posturing juxtaposed with Guy's sly onstage elegance; and Guy's tormented emotionality laid against Wells's punkish, signifying playfulness. But they made it work with a rare fusion of musical brilliance and personal chemistry. These days Guy hobnobs with the rock-and-roll elite and collects long-overdue Grammys while Wells continues to scuffle on the road and in local clubs. This reunion may or may not reignite some of their classic fire, but it promises to provide at least a glimpse into the remarkable musical and spiritual synergy of one of the most enduring partnerships in the blues. If it takes off it could also provide us with some of the most electrifying blues we've heard locally in a long time. Monday and Tuesday, Buddy Guy's Legends, 754 S. Wabash; 427-0333 or 427-1190.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/James Fraher.

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