As an aspiring musician making the move from his native Louisiana to Chicago, Buddy Guy seemed to hit the jackpot when he fell in with the legendary Muddy Waters and got a record deal from pioneering blues label Chess Records within a couple of years of hitting the Windy City. But the tradition-minded label folks didn’t know what to do with Guy’s scorching electric style, preferring the more refined folk-blues style of other artists on their roster, and they delayed releasing Guy’s first album for nearly a decade after signing him. Only later, after he left Chess, did people come to appreciate his genre-twisting take on the blues, landing him in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Kennedy Center honoree is a true living legend.
— Dan Nailen