Buddy Guy is the Shakespeare of blues guitar, channeling its basic elements into a unique language with universal appeal. He’s the Houdini of blues guitar, doing things that ought to be impossible and making them look easy. He’s a showman. He’s a shaman. He’s the man without whom both blues and rock would sound radically different. He put Chicago blues on the map, and then proceeded to conquer the rest of the world.
As one of the finest blues guitarists alive, and with a storied career spanning more than 50 years, Buddy Guy has nothing left to prove. Yet he still plays like he does. Guy is the guitar hero’s guitar hero, inspiring pretty much every great six-string-slinger of the ’60s, from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton. Once again, Buddy Guy will leave your singed-but-satisfied ears little doubt about why guitarists consider him the crucial link between blues and rock.
If the blues is all about the crossroads, Jonny Lang is standing in the right place. A decade into the new century, Lang is the ideal representative of a new and innovative generation of blues artists – one who respects and reveres the traditions of the past hundred-plus years, yet isn’t afraid to embrace more complex and evolved genres and graft them to the blues foundation to create a hybrid sound that is both traditional and fresh at the same time.
Indeed, on any given night, impressively large crowds at a Jonny Lang performance are likely to hear shades of R&B, soul, gospel, hard rock, funk and more. All of it is packaged in a high-octane guitar-and-vocal attack from an artist who has covered countless miles since his teenage years, and continues to explore new horizons with confidence and enthusiasm. It should come as no surprise that Lang has toured with the likes of the Stones, Aerosmith, B.B. King, Jeff Beck and Sting, and moreover that Clapton tapped him for the first Crossroads Guitar Festival (2004).