Buddy Guy: “When you pick up a guitar, you have something of your own even if you don’t realize it”

Buddy Guy
(Image credit: Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

When Buddy Guy speaks he's got the weight of history behind him. He has seen it all. The world’s greatest living bluesman turns 85 next week, and while he jokes that nowadays he’s less mobile onstage, there’s still plenty of sap left in his storytelling. He recalls all the details, from growing up in rural Louisiana to making his name onstage in the bright lights of Chicago. 

There’s still plenty of magic in those fingers, too. Not that he’d have you believe it. There’s a braggadocio to playing the blues, working on your style so those stories come to life in front of an audience. 

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Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.