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Download When I Left Home: My Story Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample When I Left Home: My Story Audiobook, by Buddy Guy Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (194 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Buddy Guy Narrator: Mirron Willis Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2012 ISBN: 9781470807627
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According to Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and the late Stevie Ray Vaughn, Buddy Guy is the greatest blues guitarist of all time. An enormous influence on these musicians as well as on Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck, he is the living embodiment of Chicago blues.

Guy’s epic story stands at the absolute nexus of modern blues. He came to Chicago from rural Louisiana in the fifties—the very moment when urban blues were electrifying our culture. He was a regular session player at Chess Records. Willie Dixon was his mentor. He was a sideman in the bands of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. He and Junior Wells formed a band of their own. In the sixties, he became a recording star in his own right.

When I Left Home tells Guy’s picaresque story in his own words, those of a storyteller who remembers everything, including blues masters in their prime and the exploding, evolving culture of music that happened all around him.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “As is the case with all artists who are sure of their work, Buddy is an absolute gentleman. When I first heard him, I got scared. Musically, he had raised the bar and continues to do so. Buddy has never failed to amaze me first as an artist and secondly as a beautiful guy. I did not give him my guitar for show! I loved that axe, yet I loved what Buddy gave us all even more. Long may he give us his gift.”

    Keith Richards

  • “There are hundreds of spirited musical tales in When I Left Home, Buddy Guy’s new autobiography, which offers a colorful account of his fifty-year-long tenure as perhaps the most influential guitar slinger in Chicago blues…Razor-sharp dialogue and descriptions.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “A lively, sharply etched account of Guy’s unlikely ascent from sharecropper roots in Louisiana to the blues hotbed of Chicago and beyond.”

    Boston Globe

  • “[An] entertaining first-person narrative by an iconic musician…Many amusing anecdotes…Well worth reading—especially for blues fans interested in the southern rural and Chicago music scenes of the 1960s to the present.”

    New York Journal of Books

  • “In this memoir, the story of [Guy’s] life is also the tale of the music itself of the past fifty-plus years…There’s a treasure trove of stories here.”

    Houston Press

  • “Filled with high spirits, good humor, magnanimity toward old foes, and gratitude toward those who helped him. [Guy] tells his story in the earthy, salty style of the blues itself, honest about feelings, frank about sex, all imbued with an unconquerable love of life, even (especially?) at its hardest. Mr. Guy owes a debt to his coauthor, David Ritz, who has helped capture the sound, the rhythms, and the raw energy of the language bluesmen speak…The book is rich in anecdotes, hilarious and tragic, about the giants he knew…Quite a tribute. Quite a book. Quite a Guy.”

    Washington Times

  • “[Guy’s] cowriter, David Ritz, has served his partner well: Guy’s down-home syntax reads like well-wrought fiction.”

    Toronto Star

  • “Buddy makes his life come alive…Told in his own style and language, the book reads more like a blues song than an actual book, each verse telling a different story. And what stories they are…Buddy’s book is as colorful as the blues…If you’re looking for a reasonably unvarnished account of the blues life, Buddy has it here…The book is funny, sad, tragic, lusty, honest, loving, and insightful. Just like the blues. Just like Buddy Guy. If you love the blues and all that it means, you should love this book.”

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 

  • “In memoir, likeability helps, and Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy is an easy guy to like.”

    AV Club

  • “As mesmerizing a storyteller as a guitarist, Guy, writing with Ritz, regales readers with tales of growing up picking cotton in rural Alabama, of seeing his first guitar and standing transfixed in front of Lightning Slim for several hours just memorizing the movements of Slim’s hands, of his father’s friend buying his first guitar for him, and of his endless efforts to play the blues as he had heard and seen Slim and others play…Guy’s memoir is a joyous celebration of the blues, one of our greatest musical treasures.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Guy is a vibrant and hilarious storyteller. With a natural ease and honesty, he captures the spirit of the age, the culture of violence in the clubs, and the personalities of his colleagues...Highly recommended for any fan of Guy and those interested in the history of blues music.”

    Library Journal

  • “[An] amiable and entertaining biography…Full of fascinating anecdotes about some of the greatest of the twentieth-century bluesmen and the now mostly shuttered South and West Side Chicago blues clubs they played in…A must for Buddy Guy fans and blues enthusiasts.”

    Booklist

  • “Guy has a wealth of entertaining, occasionally raunchy stories about the contemporaries he revered, including Muddy, Wolf, Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed, Big Mama Thornton and B.B King.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “The stories in this memoir read as a veritable who’s who of modern electric blues…The man who defined the sound of the Chicago blues and influenced a generation of rock guitarists shares his life story.”

    ShelfAwareness.com

  • “Entertaining, lively, and vivid…[Guy] emerges as real as you’d dare hope…Guy is connected to the blues in a way that runs so deep it’s difficult to fully understand and appreciate; this book explains the link.”

    Guitarist

  • “What makes this rendition special is the care with which Guy and his cowriter David Ritz limn the details and make everything come alive…The ‘you-are-there’ feel of living history that the best autobiographies afford us is among the richest gifts to be garnered from this book…Rewarding reading for long-time fans as well as newer, more casual acquaintances.”

    Living Blues

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim Beaver | 2/12/2014

    " Mostly anecdotal, told in a breezy, conversational style. Probably of interest mostly to fans of Chicago blues music. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marita | 2/7/2014

    " Very very good...If you are into the blues and an incredible life story of a great person this is the book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 2/4/2014

    " Easy to read, couldn't put it down. Good history of the blues. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric | 2/2/2014

    " Heartwarming autobiography from one of the few remaining living legends. Best guitar player to ever play, telling his life story with the down-home country charm that endears him to so many. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie B | 1/31/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. It's really gritty and honest; and it delves deep into the life and evolution of the blues. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard | 1/24/2014

    " I love Buddy! Any time I can read stories from one of my all-time favorite musicians, I'm in. I remember when I got my first CD player right after my divorce (not a coincidence). Damn Right I Got The Blues was the first CD I bought. It still ranks up there, along with several other of his discs, in my favorite possessions. I've read a lot about the blues. But I still learned quite a bit, especially the Chicago days, reading this book. Buddy, keep blowin' the roof off! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patty Gildea | 1/4/2014

    " This was a GREAT book. I learned so much about the blues. I am now loving Junior Wells also!! Great read!! God bless Buddy Guy! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 George | 12/11/2013

    " If you love the blues, you will love this book. Buddy describes his early life and his life on the road with many legendary bluesmen. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Widman | 12/11/2013

    " Good book that brought a better understanding of the Chicago blues scene. Under appreciated by the general audience until discovered while changing oil on a truck. I need to get more info on the older blues players that blazed the trail. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 P.e.lolo | 12/2/2013

    " A very good book. I enjoyed his stories with other blues musicans. Some of them funny and sad. I am a fan of the blues so I enjoy a book like this. Anyone who likes the blues should read this book. If not get some of his music and listen and get the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 11/20/2013

    " Doesn't get very deep, but it was an interesting exploration of the Chicago blues scene. I never realized how "un-famous" Buddy Guy was for the majority of his career. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martin | 11/8/2013

    " Not really an autobiography, this memoir is more of a series of anecdotes told in chronological order. After I finished it, I got down my book on Muddy Waters. I also loaded my ipod with music by Buddy, Muddy, The Wolf, Otis Spann, Son House etc. If you like The Blues, buy this book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joel | 11/7/2013

    " Buddy spends more time spinning yarns about the great bluesmen than discussing his own music, but it's a quick, enjoyable read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patti | 10/18/2013

    " I a huge fan of Buddy Guy, he is amazing in concert. Loved this book, it was an easy read and a fascinating glimpse into the roots of blues. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keith Bell | 10/17/2013

    " A great story of Chicago Blues from a man that lived it. Behind the scene stories with insight to the greats. Buddy is amazing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Greg Just-greg | 6/27/2013

    " LOVED IT! A great insight into the history of the blues culture and the experiences of Buddy Guy. What a life and what a classy guy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Kane | 6/3/2013

    " A fascinating collection of anecdotes that was very difficult to put down. While it is not a full autobiography, it provides a compelling story that explains how a sharecropper's son became the world's best blues guitarist. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Misha Angrist | 5/31/2013

    " A personal history of American--and some British--electric blues told by one of its leading practitioners. Full of colorful stories told by an able, gentle, passionate guide. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Curt Bozif | 4/21/2013

    " Probably only going to be interesting to blues enthusiasts and blues musicians. Always nice to read about the most famous blues guitarist you've probably never heard. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annette | 11/18/2012

    " Well-told story of a legendary blues man. If nothing else, please take a few minutes to listen to his classic "Damn Right I Got the Blues." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Theimaginarygirl | 10/9/2012

    " This book made me so happy, in so many ways! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Harold Hubbell | 8/22/2012

    " I am a huge Buddy Guy fan and for me this truely brought me to the crossroads so to speak.My only complaint was that it was over too soon. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sjfstudio | 5/1/2012

    " A wonderful glimpse into the life of this legendary bluesman. From the early days on the farm to the years spent on the Chicago blues scene with so many of the greats. "

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About the Author

Buddy Guy was born in 1936 in Lettsworth, Louisiana. He is considered among the best blues guitarists alive today. He lives in Chicago.

About the Narrator

Mirron Willis—actor of film, stage, and television—is the winner of the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2012 and a finalist for the Audie in 2015, as well as the winner of four AudioFile Earphones Awards for his audiobook recordings. He has worked extensively in film and television and on stage with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Houston Shakespeare Festival, and the Ensemble Theatre, among others. He has recorded some 150 audiobooks, including the Smokey Dalton series by Kris Nelscott and My Song by Harry Belafonte. He resides and records audiobooks on his family’s historic ranch in East Texas.