By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — One of the greatest guitarists and bandleaders in blues history returns to Nashville this weekend.
Buddy Guy makes his annual visit to the Ryman Auditorium Saturday night. Guy hails back to the early days of the Chicago blues revolution, having served as a session guitarist with Chess and played with many of its legends. Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Little Walter and Otis Spann were just a few of the people he backed.
But Guy was always anxious to blaze his own trail, and often angered label head Leonard Chess with his desire to experiment with tunings, distortion and what Chess viewed as odd accompaniment and support.
But what Guy was doing was blazing a trail that numerous rock and blues guitarists have since followed. His adventurous solos and fills, as well as dazzling statements have now become almost the signature of numerous players.
Aside from a lengthy recording and touring partnership with Junior Wells, Guy has been a mentor and influence to a host of contemporary artists.
Fortunately, Guy has been recognized for his importance and innovations. Aside from winning multiple Grammy honors, the Louisiana native has won both the National Medal of Arts and Kennedy Center honors.
At 86, Buddy Guy still tours each year and continues periodic recording. He is an American musical treasure, and any opportunity to see him should not be missed.