At 79, Guy still plays like a wild man. You can hear it on Born to Play Guitar, his new album, which celebrates his six decades playing the blues. But the scene has changed. When he started, his audiences were all black — except, he tells NPR, for the occasional cop. In the ’60s, the blues fell out of fashion with middle-class blacks and the music found a new audience when artists like Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones started playing it. Buddy Guy gives them credit for making the blues more mainstream while also acknowledging pioneers such as B.B. King, Muddy Waters and himself.
Today, however, Guy worries that far too few people are hearing the blues from anyone. Before B.B. King died, it was something both musicians spoke about at length, he says, and here with NPR, Guy describes the mission passed down from Muddy Waters.
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Junior Wells (December 9, 1934 – January 15, 1998), born Amos Wells Blakemore Jr., was an American blues vocalist, harmonica player, and recording artist. He was one of the major players of Chicago’s dynamic, funky, electric blues sound in the late 1950’s and 60’s and an influential figure in the Chicago blues style.
To life!: “12-bar blues in the key of e” by the Australian blues guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel.