Buddy Guy says the music industry treats blues “like a stepchild”
“But the big FM stations don’t play blues – if they do, I don’t hear it”
Credit: Rick Kern / WireImage via Getty
Blues legend Buddy Guy has said that the music industry today treats the blues as a “stepchild” – that is, that the genre isn’t getting the attention it truly deserves.
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In a new interview with Billboard about his retirement from touring, Guy told the outlet, “Blues is like a stepchild now,” explaining “I’ve kept doing it so people don’t forget Muddy and Wolf, B.B., all the rest of ’em. But the big FM stations don’t play blues – if they do, I don’t hear it”. He continued, “And if people can’t hear it…It’s like they say about cooking; you don’t know how good the gumbo is in Louisiana until you go down there and taste it. Whether you like it or not is up to you, but at least you tasted it. And the blues is being treated like that.”
Guy doubled down on his statement, explaining that even a good blues record is just there if nobody listens to it. “It bothers me because I’ve dedicated my life to the blues, and a lot of other people have, too. What did we do to be treated like that? I don’t know, man, but I’d like to see it get straightened out,” he concluded.
Guy announced his retirement from touring in October last year, and is currently in the middle of his final tour. The tour is set to continue through October this year, with dates booked in Rockford, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Louisiana and Baton Rouge, where he began his career. Among the guests expected to join Guy at various stops on the tour include Eric Gales and twenty-three-year-old Grammy-winner Christone “Kingfish” Ingram.
The multiple Grammy Award-winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer released his 34th studio album The Blues Don’t Lie last year. The album followed his 2018 LP The Blues Is Alive And Well, which also won him a Grammy Award.