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Stylistically, Guy is known as a Chicago blues man. However, like most artists, his music is widely varied and includes deep blues, gumbo, rock, soul and jazz, all with his own unique own signature.
Guy has been influenced by other legends including John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Junior Wells. In turn, he has been a major influence on artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, John Mayer and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Eric Clapton has described him as “the best guitar player alive”. (Buddy Guy. Rolling Stone archive)
Guy is also credited with major contributions to rock and roll, as well as with introducing pioneering techniques such as distortion and feedback, and long solos. Rapidly adopted by many 1960s artists, these techniques became foundational aspects of blues-rock (and later hard rock and heavy metal).
Buddy Guy’s career began in Baton Rouge in the 1950s. He sealed his first record contract in 1958 in a competition with Magic Sam and Otis Rush, and then went on to record with Cobra Records and Delmark Records (with Junior Wells).
During the 60’s he also recorded with Chess Records. However, from all accounts this was not a successful relationship for Guy, with only one album (Left My Blues in San Francisco, 1967) released under the Chess label. He was mainly used at Chess as a session guitarist, backing other musicians including Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Koko Taylor and others. Moving on from Chess, Guy signed with Vanguard Records where he collaborated with Junior Wells on some of his most well-known pieces (“Hoodoo Man Blues” and “Messin’ With the Kid.”)
Guy’s onstage performances in the ‘60s included the European tour American Folk Blues Festival (1965) and the March 1969 “Supershow” in Staines, England with included Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Glenn Campbell, Roland Kirk and others.
After several years out of the spotlight, the blues revival of the late 1980s and early 1990s provided a major career boost for Guy. He was invited by Eric Clapton to be part of the “24 Nights” all-star blues guitar line-up at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Following this, Guy signed with Silvertone Records.
Awards and accolades
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©  — Blues Rock Legends