April 2, 2017

It's been many years since blues was a regular part of radio playlists, and the days when individual DJs could play any song they wanted went away sometime around the demise of cassette tapes.

Now corporations own multiple stations, and because program directors rely on the same airplay data to decide what songs get played, most radio has become tightly formatted and homogenized. The vast majority of stations nationwide play the same limited selection of songs within their formats.

But this hasn't stopped Buddy Guy (and his producer and sometimes-songwriting collaborator, Tom Hambridge) from keeping radio in mind whenever he makes a new album.

“When we go in the studio now, we'll both be trying to hit a note, whether it's singing or playing, that hopefully one of these program directors says ‘Buddy Guy's got a record out. I think we're going to have to play one or two of these songs off of this record,’” Guy said in a recent phone interview. “Hopefully it's good enough for them to look at...

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