This morning we headed to downtown Chicago for an open Q&A with blues legend, Buddy Guy. This was a rare occasion for several dozen guitar geeks to meet and learn from one of the greatest living bluesman in the world. Buddy Guy influenced the sound of rock and roll and blues around the world paving the road for big name acts, whether it was Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn or Kenny Wayne Shephard. Buddy Guy, more than any other artist, was the bridge between traditional blues and rock and roll. That said, it's ironic that the blues were ignored for a long time in America and it was only with the British Invasion of the '60s and with a blues resurgence in the '90s that artists like Buddy Guy got their due.
Guy talked about every topic you could think of whether it was growing up poor, moving to Chicago, playing with BB King and Eric Clapton, recording his new CD "Skin Deep," and even what's wrong with bottled water.
Throughout the entire time, Guy was warm, gracious and generous with his time. Many of the younger NGW students were smart enough to bring their guitars and get them autographed. And although Guy did not play guitar for us, students in the Blues Summit had a jam session on stage at the Legends Club.
I came away inspired from the visit. Not just because Buddy Guy is a great guitar player, but he's a tremendous human being. Not only that, but it created a tremendous positive vibe that I took with me for the rest of the day. All the tension around rehearsing our song melted away and I was able to focus on what a great week I've had being part of National Guitar Workshop. This is one heck of an experience.
Still, we do have that evening conecert to get ready for...
I've posted a brief excerpt on YouTube where Guy talks about growing up in Lettsworth, Louisiana and the effect that music had on him as a young man.
The National Guitar Workshop has additional sessions through the summer in Austin, Texas and at the main campus in Purchase, New York.