Known as Chicago's blues king, for nearly forty years Buddy Guy's been ruling the domain passed down by his mentor Muddy Waters. Born in rural Louisiana in 1936, he learned to play on a home-made guitar and made his way from Baton Rouge to Chicago in 1957. He got ample work as a sideman and mingled with the city's blues elite: Freddy King, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, and Magic Sam. But the singer/guitarist was determined to be a frontman in his own right and developed a trademark high-energy showmanship style that was bound to attract attention. He caught the eye of Cobra Records boss Eli Toscano and released three riveting 1958 singles produced by Willie Dixon. "This Is the End" and "Try to Quit You Baby," revealed the influence of his idol B.B. King, and "You Sure Can't Do" was an unabashed homage to Guitar Slim. When Cobra folded he moved to Chess records and came into his own with the 1960 release of "First Time I Met the Blues" and "Broken Hearted Blues," showcasing the fiery shrieking vocal style and tortured slow blues guitar that have become his hallmark.
Guy's recording career was prolific through the 1970s and he became a blues icon for rock guitar gods such as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Though he continued to perform, largely to European audiences, Guy's recording career ebbed in the 1980s until 1991 when Silvertone released his Grammy Award-winning disc Damn Right, I've Got the Blues. The album introduced Guy to a whole new generation of fans and firmly established the legendary bluesman as a seminal figure in the annals of American music.
Back to Artists