Watch Buddy Guy’s Searing Sonny Boy Williamson Cover – Rolling Stone
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Watch Buddy Guy’s Searing Sonny Boy Williamson Cover From ‘ACL’ Performance

“Nine Below Zero” from Austin City Limits set is a blues classic perfect for frigid weather

Buddy Guy just wrapped his legendary January residency run at his Chicago club Legends, but fans who missed that can see the 82-year-old guitarist on Saturday’s episode of Austin City Limits on PBS. The song is fitting for the frigid weather the country is seeing this week.

In this exclusive clip, Guy plays his version of Sonny Boy Williamson’s 1962 track “Nine Below Zero,” which Guy covers on his new album The Blues is Alive and Well. Guy sings, “Ain’t this a pity? / People you know it’s a damn crying shame / Well you know it’s nine below zero / And this woman kick me down for another man.” Williamson is a huge inspiration of Guy’s, having played on the bluesman’s hits at Chess Records.

The Blues is Alive and Well, which features guest appearances by Mick Jagger and Jeff Beck, is nominated for a Grammy at next week’s ceremony. After that, Guy returns to the road on his never-ending tour, hitting New York’s Beacon Theater on March 7th.

Rolling Stone caught up with Guy for an in-depth feature on his life in late 2015. The veteran bluesman said that his job took on more meaning after the death of his hero B.B. King. “When B.B. passed away, I kind of woke up and said, ‘I’m the last one here,’” says Guy. “It’s a little scary.” Added Keith Richards, “He’s the top honcho now, you know? He’s the godfather now.”

Alongside “Nine Below Zero,” the singer also performed the web exclusive “Cognac,” available below. The new episode premieres tonight, Saturday, at 9 p.m. ET. August Greene, the group comprised of Common, Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins, will also appear on the episode.

 

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