Buddy Guy biography
Born: July 30, 1936, Lettsworth, Louisiana
Also known as: George Guy
Buddy Guy’s name has become synonymous with Chicago blues. A dramatic, buoyantly joyful performer with a voice that can be at once smooth and gritty, Buddy Guy is also an esteemed guitarist. He has been idolized by the idols themselves for his superb musicianship — Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jeff Beck, Johnny Winter and even, reportedly, Jimi Hendrix have all acknowledged him as an inspiration. Guy’s style of playing was heavily influenced by B.B. King, to whom he is often compared. Early in his career he worked with many of Chicago’s blues legends as a session player for Chess records and teamed up with harmonica player Junior Wells; the two were a popular duo in the city for many years. Buddy Guy was more popular as a live act than as a recording artist until he teamed up with Eric Clapton in the early 1990s, which precipitated a successful and enduring comeback. In Chicago he is known as the King of the Blues. His talent and influence, his long history with the city’s blues greats and his successful local blues club “Legends,” contribute to his own legend, hosting up and coming live blues acts and paving the way for the future of Blues guitar players and performers.
Rolling Stone’s great bassist Bill Wyman had this to say about Buddy Guy:
“Guitar Legends do not come any better than Buddy Guy. He is feted by his peers and loved by his fans for his ability to make the guitar both talk and cry the blues. Such is Buddy’s mastery of the guitar that there is virtually no guitarist that he cannot imitate.”
Essential listening: “Broken Hearted Blues,” “Stone Crazy,” “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” “Try to Quit You, Baby”