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On Jan. 10, 1978, Buddy Guy and the Junior Wells Blues Band took to the Bottom Line stage in New York City for a three-day showing of classic funky blues. At the time of this performance, both Guy and Wells were renowned blues musicians—the former a powerful guitarist who played with the likes of Jimi Hendrix and whom Eric Clapton once described as the best guitar player alive, and the latter a notable Chicago blues singer and harmonica player who, at 16 years old, was playing alongside Muddy Waters and other legendary jazz and blues figures. Needless to say, the dynamic presence of the two musical powerhouses crafted a soulful and invigorating onstage presence that this audience was clearly thrilled to be a part of.
Wells and Guy first teamed up in 1965, commencing a long-running touring and recording partnership that ended in the 1990s, so by the time they played this show in New York, they clearly had a special onstage camaraderie. They released a number of blues albums together, most recently at the time of this show Live at Montreux in 1977 and, the year after this performance, Pleading the Blues.
On this night, Guy played a set of guitar-driven funk blues before ceding the stage to Wells, who joined for an especially rousing rendition of “Yonder’s Wall,” with both Blues Hall of Fame inductees shining. Check it out, and dig even deeper into Paste’s bottomless vault of blues recordings here.