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The case could be made that Buddy Guy defines Chicago blues. His talent and unique style not only set him apart, but marks music’s transition from classic blues right to rock n’ roll.
It wasn’t always easy for Buddy…he worked as a janitor before moving to Chicago from Baton Rouge, and his record label, Chess, used him as a backing artist for other blues greats, directed him to perform R&B ballads, soul ditties, instrumentals and, worst of all, novelty records.
Whereas Muddy Waters was an early inspiration, Guy would later find himself influencing blues music’s evolution. Often called the “bridge between the blues and rock,” Buddy has been venerated and emulated by legends Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
Buddy Guy has won 6 Grammy Awards®, received the National Medal of Arts, 23 W.C. Handy Awards and the Century Award from Billboard Magazine (only the second recipient). Truly, Buddy Guy is an American treasure!
This performance was recorded in 1979 at the legendary south side Chicago Checkerboard Lounge Blues Club. Opened in 1972 by Buddy and L.C. Thurman, it was a place for new artists to appear, such as Buddy’s collaborator Junior Wells, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf and rockers like the Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton. The club operated for many years, but lost customers when it moved from 43rd Street to the more upscale Hyde Park Harper’s Court. The club closed for good in August, 2015.