At age 79, Buddy Guy is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, a major influence on rock titans like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, a pioneer of Chicago’s fabled West Side sound, and a living link to the city’s halcyon days of electric blues. Buddy Guy has received 7 GRAMMY Awards, a 2015 Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY Award, 34 Blues Music Awards (the most any artist has received), the Billboard Magazine Century Award for distinguished artistic achievement, a Kennedy Center Honor, and the Presidential National Medal of Arts. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him #23 in its "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."
Buddy Guy released his brand new studio album Born To Play Guitar on July 31, 2015 via Silvertone/RCA Records, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Blues Albums chart. The follow-up to his 2013 first-ever double disc release, Rhythm & Blues, which also debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Blues Albums chart, Born To Play Guitar is produced by GRAMMY Award winning producer/songwriter and Buddy’s longtime collaborator Tom Hambridge. The new release features guest appearances by Van Morrison, Joss Stone, Kim Wilson and Billy Gibbons.
Though Buddy Guy will forever be associated with Chicago, his story actually begins in Louisiana. One of five children, he was born in 1936 to a sharecropper’s family and raised on a plantation near the small town of Lettsworth, located some 140 miles northwest of New Orleans. Buddy was just seven years old when he fashioned his first makeshift “guitar”—a two-string contraption attached to a piece of wood and secured with his mother’s hairpins. In 1957, he took his guitar to Chicago, where he would permanently alter the direction of the instrument, first on numerous sessions for Chess Records playing alongside Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, and the rest of the label’s legendary roster, and then on recordings of his own. His incendiary style left its mark on guitarists from Jimmy Page to John Mayer. “He was for me what Elvis was probably like for other people,” said Eric Clapton at Guy’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2005. “My course was set, and he was my pilot.”
Breaking more fresh new blues-rock ground than ever on their raucous and soulful new album Pierced Arrow, The Rides are letting their growing legion of fans know they’re in this for the long haul. Their ongoing freewheeling journey is all there in the name. When they came up with that clever moniker for what Stephen Stills calls “the blues band of my dreams,” the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, five time GRAMMY nominated guitar great Kenny Wayne Shepherd and renowned Chicago rock/blues keyboardist Barry Goldberg knew it was more than just a one time, multi-generational fusion of legendary musical souls. They envisioned – and have since set out upon – a dynamic, wide open road ahead. The trio laid the simmering groundwork for all this by calling their debut album Can’t Get Enough because once they started writing, recording and jamming together, they couldn’t. Just before its release, Stills said, “As good as I think The Rides are now, we can’t wait to get some live gigs under our belt.” Goldberg echoed, “As proud as we are of the album, fans are going to see something even more exciting from us when we start playing these songs live.” And they did. Those few wild months of touring the U.S.—combined with hitting the Top 40 on the Billboard 200, and a nomination for Best Rock Blues Album at the 2014 Blues Music Awards—sealed the deal. They were in it for the long haul. From NYC to Austin, rockin’ L.A. and many other cities, their high-energy performances transcended individual star power to create a deep and rejuvenating chemistry, which in turn inspired them to reconvene not long after the tour was over to start work on songs that would collectively become Pierced Arrow.