Legendary Phil Guy at Big Cities June 23

Legendary musician Phil Guy brings his Chicago and Louisiana style down-home blues to Big Cities Lounge Saturday night, June 23.

Guy’s music is Chicago savvy blues combined with rock and roll, soul, jazz and hip-hop. Blues is in his blood. He grew up in Lettsworth, La., about 60 miles northwest of Baton Rouge. His parents were sharecroppers, and along with them, his two sisters and two brothers, they picked cotton and pecans. Oldest brother Buddy (2005 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and five-time Grammy winner) was first to pick, play and perform the blues.

Left-handed Phil followed suit, and taught himself how to play Buddy’s old guitar right-handed. Phil’s influences were Jimmy Reed, Lightnin’ Slim, Slim Harpo, Wilson Pickett and James Brown. He played with Raful Neal’s band in Baton Rouge in the 1960s. In 1969, Phil ventured north to Chicago to join Buddy’s band.

Buddy and Phil opened for the Rolling Stones during one of their tours. In 1970, the Guy brothers joined Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, The Band and others on the Festival Express, a multi-day, multi-band extravaganza train ride across Canada.

In the 1990s, Phil Guy formed his own band, Phil Guy & The Chicago Machine. Phil has played with noted artists Koko Taylor, Lonnie Brooks, Junior Wells, Ronnie Baker Brooks, A.C. Reed, Kenny Neal and more.

Big Cities Lounge is at 905 E. State St. Info: (815) 965-6026.

from the June 20-26, 2007, issue

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