may be available for your next special event!
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
-- inducted 2005
the king of the contemporary Chicago blues scene, celebrity superstars
patiently queue up to meet and jam with Buddy Guy. Network TV
guest appearances are commonplace. His new albums inevitably rank with
the genre's top sellers, but Buddy Guy's roots lie deep in the
searing recordings that he did for Chess Records from 1960-1967.
in Lettsworth, Louisiana, George Guy spent time playing with "Big
Poppa" John Tilley and Baton Rouge harpist Raful Neal before moving
to Chicago in 1957. Before moving to the Windy City, Buddy made a
two-song demo tape at Baton Rouge radio station WXOK and took the tape
with him to Chicago, intent upon handing it to Leonard Chess personally.
But things went considerably slower than anticipated for the hungry
guitar hopeful until he was introduced to southpaw guitarist Otis Rush
at the 708 Club.
few days later, Buddy's idol, Muddy Waters, fed him a salami sandwich
and talked him out of retreating to Louisiana. In 1958, thanks in part
to the recommendations of Otis Rush, Buddy landed his first recording
contract with Artistic Records, a short-lived subsidiary of Eli
Toscano's Cobra label. Under Willie Dixon's supervision, Buddy cut two
impressive singles for the firm, but the label folded before too many
folks had the chance to hear the songs. Even so, Guy was fast building a
reputation as a master showman around the South and West sides of
Chicago by the time he signed a deal with Chess in 1960.
His first session for Chess Records was indeed an
auspicious one, producing the harrowing song, "First Time I Met The
Blues," a nightmarish diatribe written by pianist Eurreal
"Little Brother" Montgomery. The music Buddy Guy created was a
thoroughly modern brand of blues that combined Muddy's brash sensuality
with the crackling electrical guitar style pioneered by
B.B. King (a
sound later characterized by musicologists as emanating from the West
Side, though Buddy disdains the overly broad categorization
In December of 1960, Buddy returned to the Chess
studios to lay down two more enduring classics: the tortured "Ten
Years Ago" and the relentlessly shuffling "Let Me Love You
Baby." Harpist Junior Wells played on both songs, inaugurating a
fruitful off-and-on musical partnership and a permanent friendship. The
following year, Buddy recorded the sinuous, sax-soaked rocker
"Watch Yourself," the super-intense "Stone Crazy"
and the powerful "I Found A True Love." Of those songs, only
"Stone Crazy" saw the light of day. The other two songs were
later featured on a late 1960's Buddy Guy archival collection.
A smoldering slow blues style, complete with
incendiary underpinnings, were Guy's specialty in the 1960's as
evidenced by the 1962 release, "When My Left Eye Jumps" and
"Worried Mind," (also known as "Stick Around")
released the following year. "No Lie," cut in early 1963,
sports a light and bouncy jazz-tinged beat that Guy handles adroitly.
But 1964's release, "My Time After Awhile" (a scorching cover
of a song by Bay Area vocalist Tiny Powell) was more in keeping with
Buddy's obvious strengths. In addition to his own recordings, (Buddy
wasn't one to hog the vocal spotlight) he backed rhythm guitarist Lacy
Gibson (who's still active on the Chicago circuit) on the gorgeous 1963
ballad "My Love Is Real."
"Leave My Girl Alone," like many of Buddy's
Chess efforts, has been redone a few times over the years in a variety
of settings, but Buddy's original rendering still sends chills up your
spine with its simmering intensity. The energetic "Got To Use Your
Head" was recorded at the same time in 1965.
The driving "Keep It To Yourself" and the
funky "She Suits Me To A T" stem from a 1966 session that
found Buddy Guy surrounded by saxman Gene "Daddy G" Barge,
guitarist Matt Murphy, bassist Phil Upchurch and drummer Charles Stepney.
The fleet-fingered guitarist recorded the Willie Dixon-penned "I
Cry And Sing The Blues" (a crisper remake of his Artistic debut
back in 1958) in July of 1967, shortly before he left Chess Records to
sign with Vanguard Records.
Although he's made a slew of albums for Vanguard, Blue
Thumb, Atlantic, Alligator and most recently Silvertone, Buddy Guy
has never been as consistent in the studio as he was during his tenure
at Chess Records. When he wasn't recording his own songs, Buddy often
worked as a session guitarist, backing the legendary Muddy Waters,
Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson and Little Walter. These sessions
allowed him to acquire invaluable first-hand knowledge about music that
Buddy still puts to salient use every time he strides across a concert
Jeff Beck and Stevie Ray
Vaughan idolized Buddy Guy and a generation of Chicago blues
fans rate him at the absolute peak of his profession. Amid all of his
success, Guy still remains an intrinsically humble icon who is quick to
give credit where credit's due. Buddy Guy cites his earliest
influences as: Guitar Slim, Lightnin' Hopkins, Lightnin' Slim and Muddy
Notable songs include -- .
- Stone Crazy
- Messin' With the Kid
- Let Me Love You Baby
- Sit and Cry (The Blues)
- She Suits Me to a T
- You Sure Can't Do
- My Time After Awhile
- First Time I Met the Blues
- Damn Right, I've Got the Blues
- Five Long Years
Buddy Guy may be available for your next special event!
.Modern Electric Chicago Blues. / ModernElectricChicagoBlues
.Electric Chicago Blues. / ElectricChicagoBlues
.Electric Blues. / ElectricBlues
.Chicago Blues. / ChicagoBlues
x60s, x70s, x80s, x90s, x00s, x10s
Born: ..in Louisiana / born nLouisiana
Born: ..in Lettsworth / born
Born: Jul 30, 1936
Based: ..in US
Based: ..in Illinois / based nIllinois
Based: ..in Chicago /