The legendary Buddy Guy is to release his new album, ‘Living Proof’, on October 26.
Now 74 years old, the great blues man, who’s influenced everyone from Eric Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix, takes the opportunity on this album to look back at his life.
“The life I’ve lived is what we’re singing about,” he says.
“These songs are exactly what I came up through in my life, what I’ve experienced. When I was 21, some of my older friends, who are no longer with us, they’d say, ‘You’re still a baby’. And then they said the same thing when I was 31, then 41, and I thought, ‘Man, when do I get old?’ I’ve been hearing that ever since I first went to Chicago - ‘You’re still wet behind the ears’. So when do I get dry?”
With five Grammy Awards alone in a career than stretches way beyond 50 years, Guy is one of the all time great blues performers.
“Before the 60s, we were always just R&B players,” he says.
“Then they branded us - there was Chicago blues, Memphis, Motown, and so we were considered blues players. But in Chicago, if you wanted to keep your gig, you had to be able to play all the top tunes on the jukebox, whether that was Lloyd Price or Fats Domino or Ray Charles. Now if you play a Little Richard song, the audience looks at you like you’re crazy, but we always had to do that for a black audience back then.”
One of the things that makes this album so special is a duet, for the first time, between Guy and fellow living legend B.B. King. It’s on the song ‘Stay Around A Little Longer’.
Says Guy of King:
“B.B. created this style of guitar we all play. I grew up listening to people like him, T-Bone Walker, Muddy Waters, and I still take 95 percent of my playing from him. So to have someone like that in the room with you makes chillbumps come up on your skin.”
'Living Proof' - which also features Carlos Santana on 'Where The Blues Begin' - will be available on Silvertone/Jive Records.
Incidentally, Santana has just released a covers - yes, covers - album, 'Guitar Heaven', featuring his take on the likes of 'Sunshine Of Your Love', 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'. 'Back In Black', Leppard's 'Photograph' and Van Halen's 'Dance The Night Away'. The album, which also features guest appearances by Chris Cornell, Scott Weiland, Joe Cocker and Gavin Rossdale, is available now on Arista Records.

Authors: Monk

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