By Sonia Henry
The legendary greatest living blues artist in the world, eight-time Grammy ® Award winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Buddy Guy, performs in the Au-Rene Theater on Friday, March 22.
Buddy Guy according to Wikipedia: “He is an exponent of Chicago blues and has influenced eminent guitarists including Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jeff Beck, Gary Clark Jr. and John Mayer. In the 1960s, Guy played with Muddy Waters as a house guitarist at Chess Records.”
He was born in 1936 and now is 81-years-old. This is most likely his last tour, not to be missed as a piece of musical history in our lifetime. Buddy Guy, without a doubt, influenced some of the best guitarists known to man and was once described as “the best guitar player alive” by Eric Clapton!
As the elder statesman of blues guitar players, he spoke about his anxiety on the state of the blues. When he started, his audiences were all Black — except, he tells NPR, for the occasional cop. “In the ‘60s, the blues fell out of fashion with middle-class Blacks and the music found a new audience when artists like Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones started playing it. Buddy Guy gives them credit for making the blues more mainstream while also acknowledging pioneers such as B.B. King, Muddy Waters and himself.
Now continuing in the N.P.R. interview with this Blues beacon, Mr. Guy talks about Muddy Waters:
“What made Muddy Waters so important to you?
Not me — he was important to everybody. That’s why The Rolling Stones called themselves The Rolling Stones. That was one of his records. Maybe some young people just coming up don’t know because they don’t play his records anymore, but Clapton, all of the British guys, know about him. Of course, you know, I grew up on it.
You had a conversation with Muddy Waters about the blues when he was pretty sick, shortly before he died. Tell me what happened, what you guys said to each other.