Buddy Guy Says Farewell at 713 Music Hall
Written by Morgan Rosenbaum on March 10, 2023
“If you don’t like the Blues, you’re in the wrong place,” the legendary blues guitarist told the crowd. On March 5th, 2023, Buddy Guy brought his Damn Right Farewell tour to Houston’s 713 Music Hall. Even at age 86, the icon still has it, shredding out a few guitar solos and cursing like a sailor.
The show kicked off at 8pm with Ally Venable, 23 year-old blues guitarist and singer, who put on a short but energetic set that captured the attention of the crowd. The venue was packed from the start of the show, with an audience comfortably on the older side, but one that was captivated by the entire show.
Venable closed out her set with a tribute to the late, great, Stevie Ray Vaughan, which the crowd ate up. Next up came Eric Gales, who opened up his set by opening up himself, talking about his struggles with substance abuse and road to recovery. Gales appeared to truly throw himself into every song, shredding out guitar solos with the backing of his band.
While it appeared that many in the crowd hadn’t heard of the man before he set foot on the stage, Gales played with an intensity that would have enthralled even the most casual blues fan. Closing out his set with “Too Close to the Fire,” Gales once again launched into a multi-minute guitar solo, breaking a string in the process, in a display that brought the entire venue to their feet.
As the song finished, Gales simply put down his guitar, climbed down from the stage, and walked out into the venue to greet fans, a move that was not lost on those attending – the line to get a photo or buy a record grew even into Buddy Guy’s closing set.
Just after 10pm, the man himself took the stage, with that iconic smile stretched across his face. Guy’s set was filled with the type of antics fans have grown used to: playing his cream Fender Stratocaster with drumsticks, a towel, and even his shirt.
Opening up with the classic “Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues,” Guy showed the crowd why he’s still touring after all these years, the man can still play. The rest of the show was split between Guy playing classic blues tunes and telling stories from his life, which brought a truly intimate feel to the 5,000 person venue.
Taking on riffs from “Sunshine of Your Love” to “Voodoo Child,” Guy gave the fans a show to remember, and brought a fitting end to his time on Houston stages. If this is truly farewell to the blues icon, all we can say is thank you.