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Buddy Guy Proves Blues ‘Is Alive and Well’ With New Song ‘Nine Below Zero’

Blues legend shares Sonny Boy Williamson cover as first single from new album

Daniel Kreps May 24, 2018

Buddy Guy unveiled his searing Sonny Boy Williamson cover "Nine Below Zero," the first preview off the blues legend's 'The Blues Is Alive and Well.' Photo: Paul Natkin/Press Image

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Buddy Guy has unveiled his searing, six-minute-long rendition of “Nine Below Zero,” the first preview off the blues legend’s upcoming album The Blues Is Alive and Well.

“Ain’t this a pity? / People you know it’s a damn crying shame / Well you know it’s nine below zero / And this woman put me down for another man,” Guy bellows on the slow-burning track originally penned by Sonny Boy Williamson. “Well I give her all my money / All my love and everything.”

However, the highlight of the track is the masterful, minute-long guitar solo that Guy, one of Rolling Stone‘s 100 Greatest Guitarists, doles out in the middle of “Nine Below Zero.”

Guy’s The Blues Is Alive and Well, his first album since 2015’s Born to Play Guitar, arrives June 15th. The album features guest appearances by Mick Jagger (“You Did the Crime”), Keith Richards and Jeff Beck (“Cognac”) and James Bay (“Blue No More”).

The Americana Music Association also announced Wednesday that Guy would be the recipient of their Lifetime Achievement Award. Guy will receive the honor at a September 12th ceremony at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

“Buddy Guy’s incomparable musical craftsmanship has been lovingly shared with us over the years,” AMA executive director Jed Hilly said in a statement. “As a community [that] reveres and honors groundbreaking artists and their work, we are humbled to present Buddy with this Lifetime Achievement honor in recognition and thanks for his musical and artistic contribution.”

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Guy recently appeared on David Letterman’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction to discuss Chicago blues. “We all was from the South, and we came in [because] the Chess Brothers recorded here, and that’s when they started calling us ‘Chicago,'” he told Letterman. “But if you really want to be honest about it, you should call it the ‘Southern blues.'”

Listen below:

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