Saturday

Buddy Guy

Buddy Guy, is a Chicago Bluesman born in Louisiana, and one of the living elder statesmen of the Blues. He may not be as well known as BB King or some of his predecessors, nonetheless, he built a niche of music creation and influence all his own. Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix were heavily influenced  by Guy's play. Guy was thought to be one of the biggest influences on the play of Hendrix. While Clapton referred to Guy more recently as the greatest guitarist alive.

Buddy Guy remains one of the last Blues links to the traditions of play started by Robert Johnson. Guy recorded with the greats Muddy Waters and Junior Wells

Buddy Guy in Montreal, Metropolis
I went to see Guy play at the Montreal International Jazz Fest Year Round series, on April 14th of 2012. 76 years old and still playing his guitar with blistering speed. Guy plays any style, imitating his imitators, playing the likes of Clapton, Hendrix, and Albert King. Guy played music from his own albums spanning all his decades of recording, as well as some Blues standards.

At one point during the show Guy exited the stage only to reappear moments later among the standing room crowd on the floor. He kept strumming his guitar, singing and walking as he moved through the crowd and chatted with the patrons. Over the next 1/2 hour, Guy walked across the floor, up the stairs to the balcony crowd and around to the other side of the stage. Spitting distance I was from a legend.

Guy has some 70 albums to his credit. My personal favourite, from his recent years remains 2001's Grammy nominated Sweet Tea. For beginners to the world of Buddy Guy, I would recommend his 1993 release, Feels Like Rain. The album earned Guy the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album.

Some of today's younger guitarist have picked up the legacy but few under 60 years old have a connections to the traditions.
In 2012 Buddy Guy also released his autobiography, When I Left Home: My Story. The book tells his life story in his own picaresque manner, telling of his youthful days in the music scene to his touring days of the 2000s. Click this link for Guy's upcoming tour dates. Guy is in the midst of his North American tour, including three stops north of the border.
When I Left Home: My Story


Today is day 16 of the thirty day writing challenge (February edition) as arranged and hosted by Nicky and Mike over at WeWorkForCheese.com. Today's theme is Music. Go check out their site to see who else is participating and read some more great stories.

22 comments:

  1. Damn right I've got the blues. He's a fantastic guitarist. Nice profile.

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    1. Thanks Duf. Check out this performance of Slippin In http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBvG0uuoiQo

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  2. He is great. I would love to see him in person - alas the closest I'll get in on a DVD.

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  3. Such a good post and wonderful tribute to a great artist. :)

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  4. Love Buddy Guy...amazing guitarist. I'm very jealous...only seen a few bluesmen and women myself, including B.B. King and Etta James.

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    1. I missed seeing BB King when became to town. And never had the chance to see Etta.

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  5. Very cool. Nice job with this one, Shawn.

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  6. Oh wow, I actually think I want to read that book... that sounds fantastic!

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    1. He has done everything seen everything played with everyone. And the frankness of his speech and thoughts really comes across the pages no holds barred.

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  7. Hey Shawn! I was always very fond of Albert Collins, but this fella's in a different class! Indigo

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    1. Indigo likes the Blues. You should check out the recent induction at the Kennedy Center Honors.

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  8. It's funny, I'm not into blues and/or jazz all that much, but if I can see it live, I'll usually get into it. A couple of Montreal trips have coincided with the Jazz Fest and I've always enjoyed walking around, drinking a beer or two and listening to the different music.

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    1. The outdoor concerts of the Montreal Jazz Fest are incredible. There are so many free shows to choose from.

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  9. Buddy Guy sounds like a class act based on your experience from the Montreal International Jazz Fest. This was a great tribute, Shawn. I've been aware of Buddy Guy for some time, but I haven't thought about him in some time. I should learn to appreciate him a little more. He's a living legend, after all.

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    1. Worth checking out his music KZ especially if you like The Blues

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  10. Damn, that would be a fine concert! I love blues!

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Thoughts?