Chicago blues guitar legend who owns blues club Buddy Guy's Legends recently released a new funk-laden album, Heavy Love (Silvertone Records). A number of special guests, including Jonny Lang and Steve Cropper, join him on the disc. It's probably not his best, but it's another solid outing from the pyrotechnica guitarist. Nonetheless, he was nominated for W.C. Handy Blues Awards as "Contemporary Male Artist of the Year." The Ceremony is May 27 in Memphis, TN.
Guy again played his annual January shows (15 in all) at the club. Though he sometimes resorts to playing the music of younger white musicians to rile up the crowd -- too bad since his own music is quite fine in its own right -- his showmanship and talent make the shows must-see events. Eric Clapton calls him "the greatest guitar player alive" (and has played a number of sold-out shows at the intimate club). Jimi Hendrix once brought a tape recorder to a Guy show.
Guy apparently has his own brand of cigar, "Legendary," which debuted at his club at a Dec. 11 party which included bourbon, cognac and scotch tasting.
During the '60s he recorded with Chess Records, and played with Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Bo Diddley. During the '70s, he toured with the Rolling Stones, and began a long period of collaboration with Junior Wells (Buddy's brother Phil Guy was second guitar in that band). He bought the Checkerboard Lounge, a blues club on 43rd St. in 1972, but it closed in the early '80s, the middle of a low period for him. Finally, though, he headlined the 1989 Chicago Blues Festival, and opened Legends... He recently received a Grammy award for his 1994 album Slippin' In. His recent output also includes the Grammy-nominated Live: The Real Deal. He's headlining the first night of the 1997 Chicago Blues Festival as well, with His Big Band -- yes, Guy is a lifelong fan of Count Basie, Woody Herman, etc.
You can hear him playing on a track of Joe Louis Walker's most recent album, Great Guitars.
Guy's daughter is part of hip-hop group Infamous Syndicate, and his son also is a musician, playing the bass.
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