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AMERICAN MASTERS: Buddy Guy: The Blues Chase The Blues Away

On Demand

Buddy Guy (undated photo)

Credit: RCA Records / Scheme Engine in association with American Masters Pictures

Above: Buddy Guy (undated photo)

AMERICAN MASTERS presents the broadcast premiere of "Buddy Guy: The Blues Chase the Blues Away," a new documentary on living legend George “Buddy” Guy, a blues master who transcended his early years as a sharecropper in Lettsworth, Louisiana to become one of the most influential guitarists of all time.

A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and eight-time GRAMMY winner, Guy is a pioneer of Chicago’s fabled West Side sound and a living link to the city’s halcyon days of electric blues.

The film premieres Tuesday, July 27,  just days before Guy’s 85th birthday on July 30.

AMERICAN MASTERS: Buddy Guy: The Blues Chase The Blues Away: Preview

Dive into the career of the legendary blues guitarist, a pioneer of Chicago’s West Side sound and major influence on rock titans like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. Featuring new performances and interviews with Carlos Santana and more.

This new documentary features intimate, original interviews with Guy and archival and never-before-seen performances, including footage of the blues legend on stage with the likes of President Obama and The Rolling Stones.

How blues legend Buddy Guy got his hands on his first guitar

Buddy Guy’s first guitar cost his father two dollars and only had two strings on it. He would go to sleep with it in his hand, walked around with it and played until his fingers almost bled. He taught himself his favorite John Lee Hooker song on that guitar.

Interweaving archival interviews with Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Willie Dixon with original interviews with musicians Guy influenced, including John Mayer, Carlos Santana, Gary Clark, Jr., Kingfish and more,

The two people Buddy Guy admires most as a musician

On a trip to Germany, Buddy Guy met some of his musical heroes, including John Lee Hooker and Big Mama Thornton. Meeting them was a huge achievement for Guy; he said, “I don't care if I ever get a chance to make a record or nothin'. I done met the people who I admired the most as a musician."

AMERICAN MASTERS traces Guy’s rich career and lasting impact as one of the final surviving connections to an historic era in the country’s musical evolution.

After moving from Louisiana in the 1950s, Guy quickly rose to prominence as the go-to guitarist for Waters and Howlin’ Wolf amidst the iconic Chicago blues scene, directly inspiring The Rolling Stones, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and many more.

Yet solo commercial success consistently eluded Guy until a late-career breakthrough in the 1990s. A tale of decades-long perseverance, Guy’s journey reflects both the Black experience in America in the 20th century and the history of the blues.

Buddy Guy's Grammys

Buddy Guy discusses the gratitude he feels for winning multiple nine Grammys, including his first, which he won for his song "Damn Right I've Got the Blues."

Watch On Your Schedule:

This film is available to watch on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video App, which is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast through Aug. 24, 2021 before moving into KPBS Passport.

Extend your viewing window with KPBS Passport, video streaming for members supporting KPBS at $60 or more yearly, using your computer, smartphone, tablet, Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire or Chromecast. Learn how to activate your benefit now.

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Credits:

A production of RCA Records and Scheme Engine in association with American Masters Pictures. The film is directed by Devin Amar, Matt Mitchener and Charles Todd. John Beug and Sheira Rees-Davies are the producers. Michael Kantor, Camille Yorrick, Devin Amar and Sheira Rees-Davies are executive producers. Sony Music Entertainment is the distributor of the film.

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