Rolling Stone magazine declared him the 30th greatest guitarist of all time.
Ohio Valley music lovers can soak it all in when the legendary Buddy Guy comes to Wheeling for the annual Heritage Music BluesFest.
Take it from another guitar guru - Eric Clapton: "Buddy Guy was to me what Elvis was for others," Clapton disclosed in a Musician magazine story. "Buddy Guy is by far, without a doubt, the best guitar player alive. He really changed the course of rock and roll blues."
Guy will be joined by another who's who list of award-winning artists and bands for the 2011 Bluesfest, scheduled Aug. 12-14 at Wheeling's Heritage Port.
Guy's much anticipated performance will culminate three days and nights of artistic excellence right here in our own backyard.
Born July 30, 1936, Guy will be celebrating birthday number 75 when he takes the BluesFest stage in August.
His expected festival-closing set follows a stellar Sunday lineup which includes another legend, David "Honeyboy" Edwards. Also scheduled Sunday is Kenny Neal, Teeny Turner, and Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King.
Bluesfest kicks off Friday, Aug. 12 with a smoking set by mover and shaker Candye Kane; harp guru Paul Oscher and Bob Margolin's Vizztone Allstar Revue, featuring Gaye Adegbalola, Matt Hill and a number of blues brethren.
Saturday's always super-charged lineup features the return of mouth harp virtuoso Charlie Musselwhite who rocked the house during his last Wheeling appearance.
Deb Callahan, Matt Schofield and Jason Ricci are also on Saturday's bill as well as the Kansas duo of Moreland & Arbuckle.
The Nighthawks also perform Saturday in addition to Jon Cleary's Philthy Phew.
Musselwhite has been honored many times over - as recently as May when he was named 'Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year' by the Blues Foundation.
Earlier this spring, Musselwhite performed two sets at the renown New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Honeyboy Edwards remains a festival circuit favorite. Talk about a survivor, Edwards turns 96 later this month. During a stunning career, the Mississippi native has performed alongside fellow legends including Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins, Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert Johnson and Howlin' Wolf.
Candye Kane will waste no time making new fans during what figures to be an electrifying Bluesfest performance. Her music taste is all over the map, having shared the stage with the likes of Dave Alvin, Social Distortion, the Blasters, Dwight Yoakum and Los Lobos.
Kane is currently working on her 11th CD, scheduled to be released a few days following her Wheeling gig. Stay tuned.
Jason Ricci is a Portland, Maine native who relocated to Memphis' historic Beale Street where his career has since reached new heights.
Additionally, Ricci is one of the very few openly gay male performers touring the blues circuit.
"The (gay) community doesn't like drum sets, guitars and actual live music," he has stated. "They're more used to dudes in dresses, Madonna, Cher and techno beats. Those are the things that kept me from coming out earlier.
"When I did eventually come out, I wanted to write and sing songs about what my life was like."
In May of 2010, the Blues Music Awards named Ricci "Best Harmonica Player" at its annual awards show in Memphis.
Advance ticket packages are available and more info is available at the event's official website: www.heritagemusicfest.com
Gibson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org