It’s long overdue that Phil Guy be recognized as a major contemporary bluesman and not just “Buddy’s younger brother.” Phil plays traditional south-side standards with the reverence and enthusiasm you’d expect from someone literally born into the heart of the blues tradition, and he gives even pop tunes like “Miss You” an unmistakable and totally unselfconscious bluesiness that others seem unable to attain. Avoiding his brother’s histrionics, he plays with a fiery technical proficiency combined with a sure-fingered crispness so that even his most spectacular solos have an internal logic that’s all too rare. As if that weren’t enough, he’s emerged over the past few years as a witty songwriter (“Garbage Man”), adding an exciting original dimension to his repertoire of old and new standards. Tonight and Tuesday, Buddy Guys Legends, 754 S. Wabash; 427-0333.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Larry Kodani.