A true titan of the blues and guitar icon
Buddy Guy has the blues running through his veins. He is renowned for his raw, blistering vocals and electrifying guitar playing. He has been cited as an influence on other guitar giants, such as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Guy’s legendary career spans over 50 years and is decorated with a plethora of awards and accolades, including eight Grammy Awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He remains a vital and current musician progressing the blues forward without losing sight of its roots, and the title of his latest album says it all: The Blues Is Alive and Well. Guy regards himself as a caretaker of the blues. Having learned from the likes of Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, Guitar Slim and Magic Sam, he explains, “I just take what they taught me and keep adding to it.” There’s no question why Eric Clapton has proclaimed Guy “the best guitar player alive.”
When discussing his mindset around the new record, Guy shared “I’m always trying to make an album that someone accidentally plays where some kid hears it, picks up a guitar, and helps keep the blues alive.” And it only takes one listen to The Blues Is Alive and Well to realize that Guy’s mission has been more than accomplished here. Among the contributors to the album are James Bay on “Blue No More,” Mick Jagger on “You Did the Crime,” as well as Keith Richards and Jeff Beck on “Cognac.” The record arrived on the heels of a spate of high visibility for the 82-year-old performer—at the 2016 Grammys, he picked up a trophy for Best Blues Album honoring Born to Play Guitar, and that same year, he hit the road for a U.S. tour with Jeff Beck. In addition to bringing the house down for a recent sold-out performance commemorating the closing of New York City’s B.B. King’s Blues Club and Grill, he recently appeared on David Letterman’s Netflix talk show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.
His career highlights include eight Grammy Awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, 37 Blues Music Awards, Kennedy Center Honors, NARM Chairman’s Award for Sustained Creative Achievement, Billboard Music Awards’ Century Award for distinguished artistic development, Presidential National Medal of Arts, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to name a few.