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Buddy Guy might be the greatest living blues guitarist in the world. But hey, don't take our word for it: Just ask guitar-slingers like Eric Clapton or John Mayer, both of whom have sung his praises -- and songs.
You don't get to be the best overnight, though, and for Buddy, the road to greatness was a long one. The son of sharecroppers in Louisiana, he grew up in a home that, for the longest time, had no electricity. As a teen, he became mesmerized by Southern bluesmen like Lightnin' Slim, and he spent endless hours emulating their style. In 1957, Buddy moved to Chicago as the post-war electric-blues scene was exploding. His blazing style landed him work as a sideman with greats like Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, as well as at Chess Records, where Buddy rarely saw a cent for his songwriting.
But Buddy would get his due. In 1991, Buddy won his first Grammy, for a record, fittingly, called Damn Right I've Got the Blues. It was an overdue honour. After all, everyone from The Black Keys to Jimi Hendrix to the Rolling Stones owes a debt to Buddy Guy. And Buddy's got stories to share about some of the greats of rock & roll, about what he was doing the day Martin Luther King Jr. died and so much more. It's all in a revealing new memoir called When I Left Home.