Sunday night, at the Mystic Lake Showroom Buddy Guy and Mavis Staples double headlined. Both are Chicago based, born in Mississippi. As Mavis put it “we’re homies, we’re meant to be here”. Buddy Guy and his band are promoting his newest and grammy award wining album “The Blues is Alive and Well,” which also happens to be the name of their tour with Mavis Staples. The over all vibe of the crowd was excited to be in the presence of these two historic icons.
Mavis walked out on the stage wearing a black glittery shirt, with her cute hair bob and smile and was ready to preach feel good songs of empowerment and change. Mavis joked with one female fan who yelled for her. Mavis replied that she was happy her cousin came to the show. Mavis even announced she would be running for president, and everyone went wild and cheered. The crowd clapped along to songs that were appropriate and were appreciative to witness Mavis Staples on stage. Mavis’s voice was complimented by backing vocalists Sandra Williams and baritone singer Donny Gerrard (who surprised everyone on the song “Can You Get To That” with how low his voice could sing).
The band gave an incredibly moving closing performance of “No Time For Cryin'”, lyrics that state “We’ve got work to do” and the audience clapped and gave her a standing ovation in agreement with her political lyrics.
Buddy Guy strutted out onto the stage in his overalls and signature polka dot shirt while his band played “Messin’ with the Kid” which transitioned into “Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues”. The crowd sang along to “Just Want to Make Love to You”, and Buddy jokingly corrected the audience when they weren’t singing it good enough.
Mike, a fan from Prior Lake, who was sitting next to me told me he only lives three miles away, and when he heard Buddy Guy was going to be at Mystic he had to be there. This was his third time seeing Buddy Guy play live.
Buddy played bits of signature guitar solos honoring John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Jimmy Hendrix, Junior Wells, and Eric Clapton. Buddy surprised audience members by walking out into the crowd with his guitar. Buddy would stop and take pictures with fans while singing and playing his solo during the song “Someone Else is Steppin’ In (Slippin’ Out, Slippin’ In). He even left the room and continued soloing out in the hallway or wherever he went. When he returned to the stage he was given a drum stick and began soloing licks of “Sunshine of Your Love”, and then playing the guitar with his teeth.
The show was closed by Buddy inviting Minnesota native, 19 year old guitarist Dylan Salfer, who played a slide guitar solo with the band playing Junior Wells tunes like”Little By Little”, and John Hiatt’s “Feels Like Rain”. After the show I asked Dylan how he was connected with the band. He told me that he was playing in the casino hotel lobby the previous night, and Marty Sammon the keyboard player jammed with him for a few songs. Dylan has been touring with the Bernard Allison band, and they are currently getting ready for their second European tour this year.
Fans were blown away by this performance, as the band gave their final bow, and asked for autographs. Audience members thanked them for their dynamic show and energy.
Messin’ with the Kid Intro/ Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues/ Hoochie Coochie Man/ She’s 19 Years Old/ I Just Want to Make Love to You – Chicken Heads/ Foxy Lady/ Voodoo Child Fever/Boom Boom/ Five Long Years/ Someone Else is Steppin’ In (Slippin’ Out, Slippin’ In)/Cognac/ Little By Little/Feels Like Rain