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Buddy Guy with Robert Randolph and The Family Band – Interlochen Arts Festival – August 5, 2014


Jimi Hendrix once famously remarked that, “Heaven is lying at Buddy Guy’s feet while listening to him play guitar.” Ranked 30th on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” list, the five-time Grammy Award winner and Chicago blues legend has influenced titans such as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Hendrix. He will be accompanied by the American funk and soul band led by the pedal steel guitar master Robert Randolph.

Buddy Guy is one of the titans of the blues, straddling traditional and modern forms, as well as musical generations. He’s worked with Muddy Waters, Little Walter and Howlin’ Wolf, on one hand, and Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Rolling Stones, on the other. There are few notable blues figures that Guy hasn’t brushed up against. He was even an influence on Jimi Hendrix.

The genre’s most electrifying guitarist, Guy has remained a vital and current musician, moving blues forward without losing sight of its roots. He’s renowned for his raw, blistering vocals and high-voltage guitar playing. His plays a Fender Stratocaster, employing feedback, distortion and extreme string-bending. He spent much of the Sixties on the venerable Chess label and thereafter recorded for Vanguard, Atco, Silvertone and others. Guy attained great stature within blues circles over the course of three decades, but his career broke wide open in 1991 with the release of “Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues.” This landmark release won him a Grammy and five W.C. Handy awards, and he recorded and toured prolifically in its wake.

Clapton has proclaimed Guy “by far without a doubt the best guitar player alive… He really changed the course of rock and roll blues.” Guy regards himself as a “caretaker of the blues.” Having learned from the likes of Waters, Otis Rush, Guitar Slim and Magic Sam, he explains, “I just take what they taught me and keep adding to it.”

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