At age 76, he’s a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, a major influence on rock titans like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, a pioneer of Chicago’s fabled West Side sound, and a living link to that city’s halcyon days of electric blues. He has received 6 Grammy Awards, 28 Blues Music Awards, the Billboard magazine Century Award for distinguished artistic achievement, and the Presidential National Medal of Arts. Rolling Stone ranked him in the top 25 of its "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time." The last year, in fact, has proven to be one of Guy’s most remarkable ever. He was awarded the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime contribution to American culture; earlier in the year, at a performance at the White House, he even persuaded President Obama to join him on a chorus of “Sweet Home Chicago.”
Also in 2012, he published his long-awaited memoir, When I Left Home, and released Live at Legends, which has been nominated for Best New Recording in the Living Blues Awards. Now the story continues with Rhythm & Blues, 21 tracks which feature contributions from a stellar and wide-ranging set of guests, including Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and Brad Whitford of Aerosmith and rising guitar wizard Gary Clark, Jr. The most unexpected guest on Rhythm & Blues is country superstar Keith Urban, who joins Guy on an emotional ballad called “One Day Away.” These many years later, Buddy Guy is a genuine American treasure and one of the final surviving connections to an historic era in the country’s musical evolution. Still, as one glorious track on Rhythm & Blues puts it, he claims that “All That Makes Me Happy is the Blues.”
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, sweat-drenched 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 unbridled enthusiasm. Concord Records captured that energy and enthusiasm with the April 20, 2010, release of Live at the Ryman, a recording that provided a snapshot of Lang in his natural! element - onstage in front of an electrified audience, celebrating the past and heralding the future of the blues. Recorded in August 2008 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, Live at the Ryman is his first album since 2006's Turn Around. Lang's first ever live album showcases twelve tracks from Lang's previous studio albums and pumps them up to an unprecedented level of intensity. Live at the Ryman may be an accurate portrait of the artist as a young man, but Lang considers himself to be very much a work in progress - on all fronts, musical and otherwise. Don’t miss Buddy Guy & Jonny Lang August 14 at The LC!