100 Greatest Guitarists: David Fricke's Picks

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Buddy Guy

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A key influence on Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy put the Louisiana hurricane in 1960s electric Chicago blues as a member of Muddy Waters' band and as a house guitarist at Chess Records. A native of the Baton Rouge area, he combined a blazing modernism with a fierce grip on his roots, playing frantic leads heavy with swampy funk on Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor" and Koko Taylor's "Wang Dang Doodle" as well as on his own Chess sides and the fine series of records he made with harp man Junior Wells. One of the last active connections to the golden age of Chess, Guy still plays with his original fire.

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