Buddy Guy

Buddy Guy performing at the 2011 Playboy Jazz Festival
By Leroy Hamilton
Buddy Guy performing at the 2011 Playboy Jazz Festival
By Peter Iovino
Buddy Guy
Buddy Guy
By Paul Natkin

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One of the all-time greats of the blues, Buddy Guy has, during the past 15 years, finally received the recognition and fame that he deserves. Born in 1936 in Lettsworth, La., he played and sang the blues in Baton Rouge by the early 1950s. Guy moved to Chicago in 1957. By then he was an exciting and extroverted performer whose solos were full of passion and whose vocals were sincere, powerful and often witty. He became quickly known to the other Chicago blues greats and recorded two singles for Cobra’s Artistic subsidiary in 1958. By 1960 he was recording for Chess, making a strong impression with “First Time I Met the Blues” and “Broken Hearted Blues.” While Guy felt restrained when recording for Chess, he stayed with the label for seven years, making his reputation with such numbers as “Let Me Love You Baby,” “Ten Years Ago” and “No Lie.” Guy was an influence on Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, playing rockish solos in concert, although not often in the Chess studios. He worked as a session guitarist, recording with Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Koko Taylor (“Wang Dang Doodle”), and his good friend, harpist Junior Wells. Guy and Wells teamed together quite often in the 1960s and ’70s. Although he worked steadily in the 1980s, it was 1991’s CD Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues, that became Guy’s breakthrough. Since then he has won many awards, sold out auditoriums, operated his own club in Chicago (Buddy Guy’s Legends) and been accurately called one of the living legends of the blues.




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