April 2, 2010 -- On May 6, 2010 at the 31st annual Blues Music Awards, The Blues Foundation will publicly honor blues legend Buddy Guy with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Foundation has commissioned for this special occasion a one-of-a-kind award from Patterson & Barnes, who also created the original artwork that serves as the basis for the 2010 poster. There will also be an oral and video presentation, as well as a special musical tribute, all in the legend’s honor. Buddy Guy will be at the ceremony to receive this honor.
In speaking about this great honor, The Blues Foundation’s Executive Director Jay Sieleman said “Buddy Guy has been a mentor and inspiration to five generations of musicians in multiple genres while he has continued to innovate. He has greatly expanded the blues definition while maintaining the anchor characteristics that first defined the genre, and with this distinction, we are proud to present him with this honor and tribute.”
Buddy Guy’s strikingly unique guitar style enervated his elder Muddy Waters’ Folk Singer album in the early ‘60s, expanded on the vision of his contemporary Junior Wells on Hoodoo Man Blues in the mid-’60s, and was a beacon to the British Invasion rockers Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck in the late ‘60s.
Soldiering on through the ‘70s and ‘80s, his visibility and stature refocused through the ‘90s and into the 21st century with a series of recordings that underlined to the commercial pop world that he not only was the inspiration for countless musical icons from Jimi Hendrix psychedelics to John Mayer pop, but was still transforming while many of his disciples were reprising decades-old hits.
He obliterated the perceived chasm between blues and rock, leaving the term “crossover” to awkwardly define the efforts of lesser artists in both camps trying to bridge the racial, generational and stylistic borders of each. And he did it with a sense of dynamics and bravado that are rare in artists of any age, but which have been consistent for him throughout his career. You knew you were experiencing a Buddy Guy lick in the first few lines of any number he did in 1960, and the same can be said today. Buddy has been nominated for 41 Blues Music Awards and has received 28 such Awards.
Past recipients of this prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award include Bobby “Blue” Bland, Ruth Brown, Ray Charles, Ahmet Ertegun, John Lee Hooker, Etta James, B.B. King, Sam Phillips, Koko Taylor and Jerry Wexler.
The Blues Music Awards are universally recognized as the highest honor given to Blues artists. The presenting sponsor is The Gibson Foundation and the sustaining sponsor is BMI. Additional 2010 BMA sponsors include ArtsMemphis, band Village, Casey Family Programs, Eagle Rock Entertainment, FedEx, Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, I55 Productions, and the Tennessee Arts Commission. For tickets, please visit www.blues.org or call (901) 527-2583.
The Blues Foundation is Memphis-based, but world-renown as the organization dedicated to preserving our blues music history, celebrating recording and performance excellence, supporting blues education and ensuring the future of this uniquely American art form. Founded in 1980, the Foundation has 3500 individual members and 185 affiliated local blues societies representing another 50,000 fans and professionals around the world. Its signature honors and events make it the international center of blues music. Its HART Fund provides the blues community with medical assistance while its Sound Healthcare program offers musicians health insurance access. The Blues Foundation’s Blues in the Schools programs and Generation Blues scholarships expose new generations to blues music. Throughout the year, the Foundation staff serves the worldwide Blues community with answers, contact information and news.