Blues guitarist to perform Nov. 5 at SUNY Oswego

Guitarist Buddy Whittington will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, in the ballroom of Sheldon Hall at SUNY Oswego as part of the college’s Artswego performing arts series.

Blues guitarist Buddy WhittingtonA big man with a powerful style, Whittington spent 15 years with the legendary John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers and now tours with a band of his own.

His solo albums, such as the new “Six-String Svengali,” showcase Whittington’s prowess as player, singer and songwriter and have many listeners wondering why he didn’t leave the Bluesbreakers nest much sooner.

“Buddy Whittington draws elements from some great electric blues players like Robben Ford and Stevie Ray Vaughan, but he stands apart from them all,” said Rick Balestra, a regular on the Central New York music scene and guitar instructor at the college.

“He really connects with his audience,” Balestra added. “People who’ve never heard him in live performance will be in awe.”

Texas born and raised, Whittington had an early fascination with the guitar. He taught himself to play by listening to his sister’s record collection, which included everything from the Beatles and Yardbirds to rhythm and blues standards.

Shining star

His big break came when his local band opened for the Bluesbreakers in Dallas. With an experienced ear for young talent, Mayall took his contact information. A short time later, Whittington got an offer to join the band.

He recorded countless tracks with the Bluesbreakers, and Mayall has called him his best guitarist. That’s no small praise, considering that his earlier sidemen ranged from Eric Clapton to Coco Montoya.

While Whittington’s autobiographical songs, such as “Second Banana,” tell what it’s like to play in the shadow of a famous bandleader, the lengthy apprenticeship served him well, producing a style that is both impressively developed and unpretentious. He moves with great dexterity and a ready smile through all the flavors of electric blues—from hard-driving plaints to mellow reflections.

Tickets may be purchased at all SUNY Oswego box office locations, by phone at 312-2141 or online at Parking is free in campus lots for those attending the Whittington concert.

PHOTO CAPTION: Front and center—Former Bluesbreakers sideman Buddy Whittington will perform as the star attraction at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, in SUNY Oswego’s Sheldon Hall ballroom. Now with solo albums and tours to his credit, Whittington owes his unpretentious but impressively developed blues style to his years with the legendary John Mayall band.

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(Posted: Oct 24, 2011)

Tags: vibrant community, buddy whittington, artswego