The man that Eric Clapton once called the greatest guitar player alive turns 74 today. Happy birthday Buddy Guy.
Born in 1936 on this date, Buddy has had an illustrious career, both as a student of the Blues genre, and also as a teacher. He mastered his craft under the tutelage of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Little Walter, to name a few. He went on to invent his own style that was copied by many... Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Clapton amongst others.
"Buddy Guy was to me what Elvis was for others," Clapton said in a 1985 Musician magazine article. "Buddy Guy is by far and without a doubt the best guitar player alive...if you see him in person, the way he plays is beyond anyone. Total freedom of spirit, I guess… He really changed the course of rock and roll blues."
Quite an honor from somebody not known to throw out a lot of praise.
Stevie Ray himself once stated that "Without Buddy Guy there would be no Stevie Ray Vaughn." His loud and distorted melodies are indeed a force to be reckoned with, and when you throw in his voice... His magical sweet voice, it takes the blues to places that the godfathers never dreamed of.
Stevie also observed, "Buddy can go from one end of the spectrum to another. He can play quieter than anybody I've ever heard, or wilder and louder than anybody I've ever heard. I play pretty loud a lot of times, but Buddy's tones are incredible…he pulls such emotion out of so little volume. Buddy just has this cool feel to everything he does. And when he sings, it's just compounded. Girls fall over and sweat and die! Every once in a while I get the chance to play with Buddy, and he gets me every time, because we could try to go to Mars on guitars but then he'll start singing, sing a couple of lines, and then stick the mike in front of me! What are you gonna do? What is a person gonna do?!"