Buddy’s Place

By The Columbia Chronicle

Got the “blues”? At Buddy Guy’s Legends, your “blues” will be soothed by some of the best food and music in town. A man with a soulful, raspy voice, known by his audience as Mr. H, begins to sing, “Baby, you know that ain’t right for leaving me lonely in the middle of the night. Now you know that ain’t right.” The diverse crowd of blues-lovers go wild, from the three Russian business men pounding on the table, to the group of female college students in the front howling and yelling, “Sing it baby!”

Opened nine years ago by blues legend Buddy Guy (hence the name), the club doesn’t cater to a particular race, gender or age group. Everyone and anyone who loves the blues is welcome. The owner wasn’t available for comment because he’s on tour until the end of November, but he does frequent the club when in town. The walls are adorned with guitars that have been autographed by other blues greats like Muddy Waters and B.B. King, as well as an array of vintage photographs of Buddy Guy and other legends performing.

As well as being one of the “hottest” spots in downtown Chicago to hear the blues, Buddy Guy’s is one of the best places to go eat some really good Cajun food. They serve some of the best gumbo in town. If you yearn for the creole flavor of Louisiana, this is the place for you.

With the lights down low and only the stage brightly lit, people sat at the bar and sipped their beers. A few sat at tables eating crawfish while others played pool in the back of the club. All were listening to Mr. H. tell it like it is. Mr. H. may not be a familiar name because he hasn’t quite made it to the big time yet. He just signed his name on a piece of paper as did a few others. It’s Monday and that means it’s “Open Jam” night at Buddy Guy’s. Anyone that can either play the blues or sing is welcome to come and display their talents. The Jam, as they call it, is hosted by a band called Brother John. The band alone is worth checking out.

Buddy Guy’s is located at 754 S. Wabash Ave. It’s open Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday 4 to 2, Saturday 5 to 3, and Sunday 6 to 2. If the food and music is not enough, the club also sells souvenirs like Buddy Guy T-shirts, CDs, tapes, mugs, and postcards. The club also has a newsletter published six times a year that can easily be subscribed to for $18. There is a minimum cover charge of $6 and it can go as high as $20, depending on who the club is featuring that night. You must be 21 years or older with I.D. to enter the club because they do serve alcohol. So if you got the “blues” don’t feel bad because you aren’t the only one; everyone at Buddy Guy’s Legends has got the blues down to a science.

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