Buddy’s the guy at Chesapeake Bay Festival

We tried to post this update from the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival last night, but unlike the weather, the Internet from our hotel room wasn’t cooperating. Here’s hoping the computer gremlins decided to sleep in this morning.

Buddy Guy, Shemekia Copeland, and The Yardbirds (along with a for-the-most-part cooperative Mother Nature and an estimated 5,000-6,000 fans) helped make the opening day of the 2010 Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival a smashing success. We’ll have lots of photos and a wrap-up of the weekend’s performances over the next few days, but here are a few of the highlights from today’s on-stage action:

Buddy Guy lived up to his headliner (and Blues Music Award for Lifetime Achievement) status with probably the finest performance we’ve seen from him, from blues standards such as “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “Nineteen Years Old” to the title track of his latest release Skin Deep and, in honor of the accompanying drizzle, “Feels Like Rain”;

Shemekia Copeland showed why she was invited back to the festival for yet a seventh time (in its only nine year history) with another superb appearance, including a few songs dedicated to her father Johnny Copeland and the great Koko Taylor;

a more youthful-than-expected version of The Yardbirds proved they still have the classic Yardbirds sound; and

Kansas boys Moreland and Arbuckle offered an impressive show with a mix of songs taken from their new album Flood, instrumentals, and their unique take on a few classics including a rocking “John Henry”

More on these – as well as the day’s other performers Tinsley Ellis and Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm, and a look at Sunday’s acts – in our post-festival wrap.

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