guy king's story
"One of the greatest contemporary blues musicians has arisen." - Soul Bag Magazine.
2017 Blues Music Award Nominee Guy King’s music is fresh and unique while maintaining a strong link to the musical masters that came before him. His natural musical abilities and his one of a kind blend of Blues, Jazz, Soul, and R&B, are some of what makes Guy King so special in the music world.
Born and raised in a small rural town in Israel, Guy first arrived in the US, on tour at the age of 16. Five years after he returned to the United States. After a short stay in Memphis and a stint in New Orleans, Guy headed north to Chicago in pursuit of greater things and a musical career.
In Chicago, Guy quickly gained recognition, and joined Willie Kent’s band, serving as his lead guitarist and band leader for a period of six years, until Kent’s passing in 2006, when Guy started his solo career, performing at the city’s top venues, such as: Buddy Guy’s Legends, Andy’s Jazz Club, House of Blues, The Green Mill, S.P.A.C.E., B.L.U.E.S., Rosa’s Lounge and others.
Playing at a pace of 250-300 shows a year; Guy had the pleasure and honor of opening the shows of B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and touring the world; performing in Japan, France, Belgium, Switzerland, England, Italy, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Brazil.
In 2009, Guy released his first solo album Livin’ It which was very well received by the public and media alike, and that has opened the doors for two more albums since; I Am Who I Am And It Is What It Is and By Myself.
In 2015 Guy was signed by Chicago's Delmark Records to record TRUTH, which was released in February, 2016. TRUTH reached #1 at the Roots music report -Contemporary Blues Chart, #5 at the Living Blues Chart and have been receiving rave reviews worldwide.
Some of his appearances include the Montreal Jazz Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, King Biscuit Festival (Helena, Arkansas), Blues on the Fox, The Paramount Theatre, Polanco Blues Festival (Mexico City, Mexico), Mississippi Delta Festival (Caxias Do Sul, Brazil), Basel Blues Festival (Switzerland) and many more.
Named as Chicago’s Latest Royalty by Vintage Guitar Magazine, he continues to perform, write and record new material with an ear sensibly tilted toward producing great music: taking the varied music he loves and recasting it in new directions.
"The natural Truth is that Guy King is a bad man, a fierce and soon-to-be prominent practitioner of the music that has thrilled his heart ever since he was a small boy dreaming musical dreams in every conceivable hue of blue." - David Ritz, author of Brother Ray: The Autobiography of Ray Charles, and co-writer of Sexual Healing
"Guy King has demonstrated his remarkable musical breadth with regular solo gigs, blues and jazz vocals and instrumentals. With his dramatic vocals, virtuoso guitar playing, clever songwriting and savvy band-leading and arranging, he has transformed the intersection of Ray Charles, Wes Montgomery and Albert King (plus other equally exemplary inspirations) into a sophisticated and compelling persona. As a record producer for four decades and counting, I’m extra proud of TRUTH, and Guy King should be too. The people for whom I’ve previewed TRUTH have been uniformly blown away. There’s a reason for that; in fact, many. Check it out!” - Dick Shurman, Producer and Blues Hall Of Fame Member
"Guy King's guitar playing is dazzling and we can say without a doubt that he is now one of the very few blues guitar stylists club. As a bonus, Guy is a great singer, with a deep and well-controlled voice. Believe us: one of the greatest contemporary blues musicians has arisen." - Ulrick Parfum, SoulBag Magazine, France
"Guy King, a vocalist with charm in reserve and a guitarist in control of his craft... The album is hallmarked by an infallible sense of purpose." **** Frank John Hadley, DownBeat Magazine
"This album announces the arrival of one of Blues Music's brightest up-and-coming stars and you'd be hard pressed to find a more polished, sophisticated, accomplished all-round artist on today's contemporary blues scene. A soulful vocalist, King's fretwork is informed as much by Wes Montgomery as it is B.B. King. His music blurs the line between blues, soul, R&B and jazz." – Al Hensley, Rhythms Music Magazine, Australia
“Although this King doesn’t share bloodline with B.B. or Albert, Guy’s crisp, clean, clear guitar surely does. Guy King is the velvet hurricane.” – Dennis Rozanski, Baltimore BluesRag
"King marks his solos with wide bends and a vibrato that hint toward B.B.’s greatness without surrendering his own personality on the instrument. That is a unique ability King has. He’s able to show off influences like Ray Charles, Albert King, Percy Mayfield, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, and plenty of others without losing his own musical identity.
Whether covering his heroes or playing originals (many co-written with music biographer David Ritz), King makes this music fresh and vibrant.
It’s significant that this is King’s debut for Chicago’s Delmark Records. That city, and one of his heroes, Buddy Guy, has welcomed him with open arms. And, it’s well deserved." - John Heidt, Vintage Guitar Magazine
"…So, it is especially gratifying when an up and coming artist of this caliber finally gets their due. There is a point at which they have officially “arrived.” For Chicago’s Guy King, that time is now. Actually, his talent has been recognized and appreciated for some time, but now he is becoming more well-known on a national and international level, and rightly so.
Guy’s playing is never hurried, or crowded. He never intrudes on a moment, but instead, caresses them. Yes, there are touches of B.B. King, Albert King, and Wes Montgomery; but make no mistake, Guy King has his Tele testifying from his heart. There is a sophistication here that alludes to those brilliant and beckoning well-dressed lines of Strayhorn and Ellington, but always with the whimsy of Ray Benson, and the enthusiasm of Charlie Christian. The entire band is so together, it’s a joy to hear. And King’s vocals are smooth, with just the right touch of smokey.
Would we recommend this to a friend? You bet; in fact, to all of them! Pick this album up soon”. – Barry Kerzner, www.chicagoblues.com
"Rising superstar, Guy King's music will stir your soul with his blend of power hitting blues and sultry nuances of the idiom that puts him in a blues category all his own and that is the TRUTH!". - Lynn Orman Weiss, DJ / Producer
"…One might reasonably wonder if there is anything he can’t do, and where he will take us next…Musicians with genuinely big ears are rare, and talent like King’s is rarer still." - Tom Hyslop, Now Playing
“His name is Guy King and his new album TRUTH has just been released by Delmark. Right there, that should tell you something as Delmark is not in the habit of putting out music that is half-baked and King is a great vocalist in the jazz blues field.
Born in rural Israel, King discovered the blues at an early age and when he came to the United States, he steeped himself in the music of New Orleans and Memphis before making his way to Chicago where he became a fixture in many of the clubs.
King plays his own style of blues. It’s the blues with a smattering of soul and a heaping helping of swing jazz. His vocal style is fluid, he has a great smooth voice
and his guitar work is impeccable. Listening to the album immediately puts you in the swankiest nightclub in town – the kind where everyone in the big band on stage is all dressed in tuxedos and evening gowns.
It’s the kind of album I could listen to all day and never grow tired of a single song.” - John Porter, Time For The Blues Blogspot