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Last week, KX FM 104.7 Morning show host Tyler Russell and TNN Radio‘s Jimmy Alvarez had the chance to chat with legendary blues guitarist Buddy Guy about the current state of the blues, radio & how it feels to be considered a living legend.
Even if you haven’t directly heard a Buddy Guy tune, you’ve probably heard his influence on the likes of such guitarists as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page & Stevie Ray Vaughn. His unique playing style evoking characteristics of both blues and rock and he’s been called the bridge between the two genres, but as Buddy says at the beginning of the interview, KX FM 104.7 “might be the first rock station that I’ve ever talked to”. The sad truth is that blues records do not receive the same recognition or exposure that rock musicians enjoy. Tyler mentions that if Eric Clapton covers a blues song, you’ll hear it on a classic rock station, but the original by Muddy Waters or Howlin’ Wolf will not get played. One thing Buddy suggests could be at the root of this lack of airplay is a misrepresentation of blues music as “too slow” or “sad” when, in fact, Buddy’s live performances are known to be upbeat and energetic.
This year, Buddy will turn 79 and says, “I feel pretty good…but I gotta try to prove myself…I can’t kick my leg as high as I used but I’ll still give you the best that I got”. As far as keeping the blues alive goes, he has big hopes for 16-year-old blues guitar prodigy Quinn Sullivan. When Quinn was just eight years old, Buddy brought him on stage for an impromptu jam session and has been mentoring him ever since. Hopefully Quinn will be just one of many young talents to emerge and continue the evolution of the blues.
Listen to the full audio from the interview below and check out kxfmradio.org/podcasts for other exclusive interviews, live in-studio performances & more!