roger fritz photo
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 8, 1988
By Steve Newton
Blues guitar giant Roy Buchanan makes his yearly visit to Vancouver this week, and fans of his searingly soulful, technically awesome style can get their 1988 dose of it. This time along, though, Roy will be shooting off those wild licks with the help of a new friend: his own Roy Buchanan Bluesmaster Guitar. He’s traded in the old trademark Telecaster for his signature model, manufactured by Fritz Brothers Guitars out of Mobile, Alabama.
“The people who built it really know my style, ” explains Roy, on the line from his home in Virginia. “I was lookin’ for a guitar that can do it all–that can get the sound of a Gibson, or a Tele, or a Strat. And this is it.”
Buchanan ought to know a good guitar when he plays one, because he’s been one of the best players around for a long time He’s been a major influence on guys like Jeff Beck, Billy Gibbons, and Robbie Robertson, who way back when took over Roy’s lead guitar spot when he left the Ronnie Hawkins Band. Another fan is Pink Floyd guitarist Dave Gilmour, who, along with a few other Floyd members, jammed with the man during Buchanan’s recent sell-out tour of Australia. They didn’t play “Money” or anything, just some rockin’ blues shuffles.
“They let me call the shots,” says Roy. “I was just making ’em up. But that Gilmour is great. He’s just a bluesman at heart.”
When Buchanan plays here on Friday (April 8) he’ll be joined by bassist Carey Zeigler and drummer Vince Santora.
“Those guys are really good singers, too” claims Roys, always one to compliment his fellow players. That may be so, but it’ll be his fine guitar, wailin’ through the Granville night, that’ll be the main attraction.
Note: four months after the Vancouver gig, Roy Buchanan died in a jail cell in Fairfax County, Virginia. The jury is still out on whether it was suicide or not.