Magazine article Guitar Player

Buddy Guy: August 2001

Magazine article Guitar Player

Buddy Guy: August 2001

Article excerpt


A guitarist who has stood at the crossroads of blues and rock, Buddy Guy is one of the few who can claim to have been mentored by blues legends such as Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, and to have influenced rock heroes such as Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, and Eric Clapton.

How would you describe the evolution of your playing from the '60s to now?

I've learned a little more, but it's still Buddy Guy. If you put me through a modern amplifier, somebody is going to say, "He don't sound like he used to." Well, of course, the guitars and amps aren't the same today. But the man is still the same. I'm using the same fingers I left Louisiana with. I can't really say how my style has changed, though. I used to tell T-Bone Walker, B.B., Lightnin' Hopkins, Muddy, and John Lee Hooker--all those guys I learned from--that I didn't have anything unique. Guess what they said? "Buddy, we got it from someone else, too."

What was the biggest lesson you learned from the blues legends you worked with?

Oh, man, lesson number one is be cool. They weren't making any money, but they were having fun playing. I used to look at them and say, "Buddy, you ain't never gonna be that good, and nobody is ever going to fill those shoes." Those guys weren't superstars then, but I thought they were living the high life. It made me think, "This is as high as you can go." Then the British groups got into the blues, and were able to live decently from it. But I still worked in the daytime--I drove a tow truck. …

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