"I imagine that one of the toughest things in a person's life would be to have a sibling who possesses similar talents but who, for whatever reason, has achieved greater fame. As an athlete, imagine being the brother of Hank Aaron (Tommie), Joe DiMaggio (Dominic) or George Brett (Ken). No matter how good any of the brothers ever were at the sport of baseball, only their more famous brothers will ever be remembered (except maybe as a trivia question). Certainly the same holds true in music where Chicago blues guitarist Phil Guy has played in the shadow of his more famous brother, Buddy Guy, for many years. However, Phil has his own resume of accomplishments too; having played with Louisiana legend, Raful Neal for several years before becoming a stalwart on the Chicago blues scene. When I learned that Phil Guy would be playing at Legend's Wednesday night Blues Revue in St. Cloud, I jumped at the chance to see him perform.
Backed by his band, The Chicago Machine, Phil Guy proved himself to be a talented guitarist and an astute entertainer, playing an outstanding show at Legend's. Phil opened the show by introducing his band; Doug MacDonald (a.k.a., Razorback) on guitar, Hassan on 6-string bass and Jody Young on drums; and then leaving the stage to allow them to provide the music. Starting with two instrumentals, The Chicago Machine proved to be superior musicians, showing their talents as each member soloed on the second song of the evening, "Come Home Baby." Before Phil came up on stage to perform with the band, Razorback put out an excellent impersonation of Albert King on "Flooding In California," where he sang and played guitar in a style that was very true to King's. Razorback's "King-like" talents would reemerge several times during the evening, particularly on a song called "Hey Baby!," which included elements of another Albert King song, "Matchbox," and on "That's What The Blues Is All About," also a King standard.
In the video below, you can see Phil Guy and Hassan Khan in action.
When Phil Guy took the stage, the mood of the band changed, shifting into more of a classic Chicago blues sound. Beginning with "You Got To Help Me," Guy displayed his vocal talents for all to hear. This was followed by the Muddy Water's classic, "Long Distance Call." During the song, Guy ripped off a stellar slide solo, but without the use of any kind of slide, only his fingers. Followed by an outstanding solo by Razorback, this was one of the best songs of the evening, no more than 40 minutes into the first set!
I was surprised that the sets included very few songs from either of Phil Guy's JSP recordings. "Breaking Out On Top" or his latest release, "Say What You Mean." In fact, the only song that I recognized from either CD was a song called "The Last Time" from the new CD. Otherwise, the band's sets were comprised of various well-known cover tunes and standards, including everything from Jimmy Reed's, "Ain't That Loving You Baby" to "I Should Have Quit You A Long Time Ago" and "Turning Point."
As has been my experience with the Wednesday Blues Revue at Legend's in St. Cloud, Phil Guy and The Chicago Machine put on an outstanding show worthy of the appreciate of any blues fan or famous blues brother. Check out Legend's Wednesday night schedule and get up to St. Cloud if you get a chance. It's a quick, easy drive and always worth the trip...."
Sadly Phil Guy passed away in 2008 leaving behind a tremendous legacy. (April 28, 1940 - August 20, 2008)
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SEE THE VIDEO ____________________
Click on the above image to see the official site and trailer.