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Buddy Guy

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Buddy Guy

Biography Discography Videos


Official Buddy Guy SiteOfficial Buddy Guy Site
Rock and Roll Hall of FameRock and Roll Hall of Fame

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He's Chicago's blues king today, ruling his domain just as his idol and mentor Muddy Waters did before him. Yet there was a time, and not all that long ago, when Buddy Guy couldn't even negotiate a decent record deal. Times sure have changed for the better: Guy's first three albums for Silvertone in the '90s all earned Grammys. Eric Clapton unabashedly calls Guy his favorite blues axeman, and so do a great many adoring fans worldwide.

High-energy guitar histrionics and boundless on-stage energy have always been Guy trademarks, along with a tortured vocal style that's nearly as distinctive as his incendiary rapid-fire fretwork. He's come a long way from his beginnings on the '50s Baton Rouge blues scene; at his first gigs with bandleader "Big Poppa" John Tilley, the young guitarist had to chug a stomach-jolting concoction of Dr. Tichenor's antiseptic and wine to ward off an advanced case of stage fright. But by the time he joined harpist Raful Neal's band, Guy had conquered his nervousness.

Guy journeyed to Chicago in 1957, ready to take the town by storm. But initially, times were tough, until he turned up the juice as a showman (much as another of his early idols, Guitar Slim, had back
home). It didn't take long after that for the new kid in town to establish himself. He hung with the city's blues elite: Freddy King, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, and Magic Sam, who introduced Buddy Guy to Cobra Records boss Eli Toscano. Two searing 1958 singles for Cobra's Artistic subsidiary were the result: "This Is the End" and "Try to Quit You Baby" exhibited more than a trace of B.B. King's influence, while "You Sure Can't Do" was an unabashed homage to Guitar Slim. Willie Dixon produced the sides.

When Cobra folded, Guy wisely followed Rush over to Chess. With the issue of his first Chess single in 1960, Guy was no longer aurally indebted to anybody. "First Time I Met the Blues" and its follow-up, "Broken Hearted Blues," were fiery, tortured, slow blues brilliantly showcasing Guy's whammy-bar-enriched guitar and shrieking, hellhound-on-his-trail vocals.
Although he's often complained that Leonard Chess wouldn't allow him to turn up his guitar loud enough, the claim doesn't wash: Guy's 1960-1967 Chess catalog remains his most satisfying body of work. A shuffling "Let Me Love You Baby," the impassioned downbeat items "Ten Years Ago," "Stone Crazy," "My Time After Awhile," "Leave My Girl Alone," and a bouncy "No Lie" rate with the hottest blues waxings of the '60s. While at Chess, Guy worked long and hard as a session guitarist, getting his licks in on sides by Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Koko Taylor (on her hit "Wang Dang Doodle").

Upon leaving Chess in 1967, Guy went to Vanguard. His first LP for the firm, A Man and the Blues, followed in the same immaculate vein as his Chess work and contained the rocking "Mary Had a Little Lamb," but This Is Buddy Guy and Hold That Plane! proved somewhat less consistent. Guy and harpist Junior Wells had long been friends and played around Chicago together (Guy supplied the guitar work on Wells' seminal 1965 Delmark set Hoodoo Man Blues, initially billed as "Friendly Chap" because of his Chess contract); they recorded together for Blue Thumb in 1969 as Buddy & the Juniors (pianist Junior Mance being the other Junior) and Atlantic in 1970 (sessions co-produced by Eric Clapton and Tom Dowd), and 1972 for the solid album Buddy Guy & Junior Wells Play the Blues. Buddy and Junior toured together throughout the '70s, their playful repartee immortalized on Drinkin' TNT 'n' Smokin' Dynamite, a live set cut at the 1974 Montreux Jazz Festival.

Guy's reputation among rock guitar gods such as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughan was unsurpassed, but prior to his Grammy-winning 1991 Silvertone disc Damn Right, I've Got the Blues, he amazingly hadn't issued a domestic album in a decade. That's when the Buddy Guy bandwagon really picked up steam: he began selling out auditoriums and turning up on network television (David Letterman, Jay Leno, etc.). Feels Like Rain, his 1993 encore, was a huge letdown artistically, unless one enjoys the twisted concept of having one of the world's top bluesmen duet with country hat act Travis Tritt and hopelessly overwrought rock singer Paul Rodgers. By comparison, 1994's Slippin' In, produced by Eddie Kramer, was a major step in the right direction, with no hideous duets and a preponderance of genuine blues excursions. Last Time Around: Live at Legends, an acoustic outing with longtime partner Junior Wells, followed in 1998. In 2001, Guy switched gears and went to Mississippi for a recording of the type of modal juke-joint blues favored by Junior Kimbrough, R.L. Burnside, and the Fat Possum crew. The result was Sweet Tea: arguably one of his finest albums and yet a complete anomaly in his catalog. Oddly enough, he chose to follow that up with Blues Singer in 2003, another completely acoustic effort that won a Grammy. For 2005's Bring 'Em In, it was back to the same template as his first albums for Silvertone, with polished production and a handful of guest stars. Skin Deep appeared in 2008 and featured guest spots by Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Eric Clapton, and Robert Randolph. Snakebite was released in 2009, followed by Living Proof a year later in 2010.

A Buddy Guy concert can sometimes be a frustrating experience. He'll be in the middle of something downright hair-raising, only to break it off abruptly in midsong, or he'll ignore his own massive songbook in order to offer imitations of Clapton, Vaughan, and Hendrix. But Guy, whose club remains the most successful blues joint in Chicago (you'll likely find him sitting at the bar whenever he's in town), is without a doubt the Windy City's reigning blues artist, and he rules benevolently.

Bill Dahl of All Music Guide.

B.B. King and Buddy Guy - I Can't Quit You Baby
Buddy Guy - Skin Deep
Buddy Guy - Suffer In Mind

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1967I Left My Blues In San Francisco
1968Blues Today
1968A Man And His Blues
1968This Is Buddy Guy!
1970Buddy And The Juniors
1971Buddy & Junior Mance & Junior Wells
1972Buddy Guy & Junior Wells Play The Blues
1972Hold That Plane
1977Live! In Montreux
1979Got To Use Your Head
1979Pleading The Blues
1980The Dollar Done Fell
1981Alone & Acoustic
1981Stone Crazy!
1982DJ Play My Blues
1982Drinkin� TNT & Smokin� Dynamite
1985Ten Blue Fingers
1988Breaking Out
1989I Ain�t Got No Money
1991Damn Right, I�ve Got The Blues
1993Feels Like Rain
1993Live! At The Mystery Club
1994Slippin� In
1997The Treasure Untold
1997Try To Quit You Baby
1998Heavy Love
1998Last Time Around: Live At Legends
2001Sweet Tea
2002Everything Gonna Be Alright
2003Blues Singer
2005Bring �Em In
2008Skin Deep
2010Living Proof


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1967 I Left My Blues In San Francisco

01. Keep It To Myself
02. Crazy Love
03. I Suffer with The Blues
04. When My Left Eye Jumps
05. Buddy�s Groove
06. Goin� Home
07. She Suits Me To A T
08. Leave My Girl Alone
09. Too Many Ways
10. Mother-In-Law Blues
11. Every Girl I see

1968 Blues Today

1968 A Man And His Blues

01. A Man And His Blues
02. I Can�t Quit The Blues
03. Money (that�s what I want)
04. One-Room Country Shack
05. Mary Had A Little Lamb
06. Just Playing My Axe
07. Sweet Little Angel
08. Worry, Worry
09. Jam On A Monday Morning

1968 This Is Buddy Guy!

01. I Got My Eyes On You
02. The Things I Used To Do
03. Fever
04. Knock On Wood
05. I Had A Dream Last Night
06. 24 Hours Of The Day
07. You Were Wrong
08. I�m Not The Best


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1970 Buddy And The Juniors

01. Talkin� �Bout Women, Obviously
02. Riffin�
03. Buddy�s Blues
04. (I�m your) Hoochie Coochie Man
05. Five Long Years
06. Rock Me Mama
07. Ain�t No Need

1971 Buddy & Junior Mance & Junior Wells

1972 Buddy Guy & Junior Wells Play The Blues

01. A Man Of Many words
02. My Baby She Left Me
03. Come On In This House
04. T-Bone Shuffle
05. A Poor Man�s Plea
06. Messin� With The Kid
07. This Old Fool
08. I Don�t Know
09. Bad Bad Whiskey
10. Honeydripper

1972 Hold That Plane

01. Watermelon Man
02. Hold That Plane
03. I�m Ready
04. You Don�t Love Me
05. Come See About Me
06. Hello San Francisco
07. My Time After Awhile

1977 Live! In Montreux

01. One-Room Country Shack
02. The Things I Used To Do
03. Every Day I Have The Blues
04. Driving Wheel
05. Help Me
06. Come On In This House
07. Messin� With The Kid
08. Somebody�s Got To Go
09. Everything�s Going To Be Alright
10. Got My Mojo Working
11. Hide Away
12. When I Feel Better
13. I Don�t Know
14. So Many Roads
15. Blue Shadows Falling
16. (I�m your) Hoochie Coochie Man


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1979 Got To Use Your Head

1979 Pleading The Blues

01. Pleading The Blues
02. It Hurts Me Too
03. Cut Out The Lights
04. Quit Teasing My Baby
05. I�ll Take Care Of You
06. Take Your Time Baby
07. Just For My Baby
08. I Smell Something

1980 The Dollar Done Fell

1981 Alone & Acoustic

01. Give Me My Coat And Shoes
02. Big Boat (Buddy and Junior�s thing)
03. Sweet Black Girl
04. Diggin� My Potatoes
05. Don�t Leave Me
06. Rollin� And Tumblin�
07. I�m In The Mood
08. High Heel Sneakers
09. Wrong Doing Woman
10. Cut You Loose
11. Sally Mae
12. Catfish Blues
13. My Home�s In The Delta
14. Boogie Chillen
15. Medley: Baby What You Want Me To Do, etc

1981 Stone Crazy!

01. I Smell A Rat
02. Are You Losing Your Mind?
03. You�ve Been Gone Too Long
04. She�s Out There Somewhere
05. Outskirts Of Town
06. When I Left Home

1982 DJ Play My Blues

01. Girl You�re Nice And Clean
02. Dedicated To The Late T-Bone Walker
03. Good News
04. Blues At My Baby�s House
05. She Suits Me To A T
06. DJ Play My Blues
07. Just Teasin�
08. All Your Love
09. The Garbage Man Blues
10. Mellow Down


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1982 Drinkin� TNT & Smokin� Dynamite

01. Introduction
02. Ah�w Baby/Everything Gonna Be Alright
03. How Can One Woman Treat A Man So Mean
04. Checking On My Baby
05. When You See The Tears From My Eyes
06. Introduction
07. Ten Years Ago
08. Messin� With The Kid
09. Hoodoo Man Blues
10. My Younger Days

1985 Ten Blue Fingers

01. Girl You�re Nice And Clean
02. Garbage Man Blues
03. Tell Me What�s Inside Of You
04. You Can Make It If You Try
05. Have You Ever Been Lonesome
06. She Winked Her Eye

1988 Breaking Out

01. Have You Ever Been Lonesome
02. You Can Make It If You Try
03. Break Out All Over You
04. She Winked Her Eye
05. I Didn�t Know Mother Had A Son Like Me
06. Boogie Family Style
07. You Called Me In My Dream
08. Me And My Guitar
09. Ice Around My Heart
10. Texas Flood

1989 I Ain�t Got No Money


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1991 Damn Right, I�ve Got The Blues

01. Damn Right, I�ve Got The Blues
02. Where Is The Next One Coming From
03. Five Long Years
04. Mustang Sally
05. There Is Something On Your Mind
06. Early In The Morning
07. Too Broke To Spend The Night
08. Black Night
09. Let Me Love You Baby
10. Rememberin� Stevie

1993 Feels Like Rain

01. She�s A Superstar
02. I Go Crazy
03. Feels Like Rain
04. She�s Nineteen Years Old
05. Some Kind Of Wonderful
06. Sufferin� Mind
07. Change In The Weather
08. I Could Cry
09. Mary Ann
10. Trouble Man
11. Country Man

1993 Live! At The Mystery Club

01. Buddy�s Blues
02. Stormy Monday
03. Everyday I Have The Blues
04. Woman Blues
05. Satisfaction
06. Messin� With The Kid
07. No Use Cryin�
08. Ships On The Ocean
09. Junior�s Shuffle
10. Out Of Sight


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1994 Slippin� In

01. I Smell Trouble
02. Please Don�t Drive Me Away
03. 7-11
04. Shame, Shame, Shame
05. Love Her With A Feeling
06. Little-Dab-A-Doo
07. Someone Else Is Steppin� In
08. Trouble Blues
09. Man If Many Words
10. Don�t Tell Me About The Blues
11. Cities Need Help

1997 The Treasure Untold

1997 Try To Quit You Baby

01. You Sure Can�t Do(alt. vers.)
02. This Is The End
03. I Hope You Come Back Home
04. The Way You Been Treating Me
05. Sit And Cry (the blues)
06. Try To Quit You Baby
07. You Sure Can�t Do
08. Good Things

1998 Heavy Love

01. Heavy Love
02. Midnight Train
03. I Got A Problem
04. I Need You Tonight
05. Saturday Night Fish Fry
06. Had A Bad Night
07. Are You Lonely For Me Baby
08. I Just Want To Make Love To You
09. Did Somebody Make A Fool Of You
10. When The Time Is Right
11. Let Me How You

1998 Last Time Around: Live At Legends

01. Seeds If Reed Medley: Big Boss Man, etc.
02. That�s All Right
03. She�s All Right/Still A Fool
04. (I�m your) Hoochie Coochie Man
05. What�d I Say
06. Key To The Highway
07. I�ve Been There
08. Feelin� Good/What�d I Say
09. Oh Baby/You Better Watch Yourself
10. Hoodoo Man Blues


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2001 Sweet Tea

01. Done Got Old
02. Baby Please Don�t Leave Me
03. Look What All You Got
04. Stay All Night
05. Tramp
06. She Got The Devil In Her
07. I Gotta Try You Girl
08. Who�s Been Foolin� You
09. It�s A Jungle Out There

2002 Everything Gonna Be Alright

2003 Blues Singer

01. Hard Time Killing Floor
02. Crawlin� Kingsnake
03. Lucy Mae Blues
04. Can�t See Baby
05. I Love The Life I Live
06. Louise McGhee
07. Moanin� And Groanin�
08. Black Cat Blues
09. Bad Life Blues
10. Sally Mae
11. Anna Lee
12. Lonesome Home Blues


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2005 Bring �Em In

01. Now You�re Gone
02. Ninety Nine And A Half
03. What Kind Of Woman Is This
04. Somebody�s Sleeping In My Bed
05. I Put A Spell On You
06. On A Saturday Night
07. Ain�t No Sunshine
08. I�ve Got Dreams To Remember
09. Lay Lady Lay
10. Cheaper To Keep Her/Blues In The Night
11. Cut You Loose
12. The Price You Gotta Pay
13. Do Your Thing

2008 Skin Deep

01. Best Damn Fool
02. Too Many Tears
03. Lyin� Like A Dog
04. Show Me The Money
05. Every Time I Sing The Blues
06. Out In The Woods
07. Hammer And A Nail
08. That�s My Home
09. Skin Deep
10. Who�s Gonna Fill Those Shoes
11. Smell The Funk
12. I Found Happiness

2010 Living Proof

01. 74 Years Young
02. Thank Me Someday
03. On The Road
04. Stay Around A Little Longer
05. Key Don�t Fit
06. Living Proof
07. Where The Blues Begins
08. Too Soon
09. Everybody�s Got To Go
10. Let The Door Knob Hit Ya
11. Guess What
12. Skanky


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