How blues legend Buddy Guy is keeping the genre alive

Buddy Guy might be 82 years old, but the legendary blues singer has still got it.

He released his latest album last year, still tours, and whenever he's at home in Chicago, you can find him at his famous bar Buddy Guy's Legends.

He doesn't always take centre stage there nowadays, but when he does it's pure magic for those who've come from far and wide to see him play.

While filming isn't allowed inside the bar, even for patrons, he made an exception for a Kiwi journalist and cameraman who'd travelled so far. He told me he's visited New Zealand about a dozen times, and loves our beautiful country.

Upstairs at his bar, the walls are a map of his colourful career. Every inch of space is decorated with pictures of Buddy's life, and guitars gifted by famous friends - Eric Clapton, David Bowie, Tom Petty and the Rolling Stones, just to name a few.

Hailed as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, it's clear how much he's inspired some of the world's most legendary musicians - and presidents. Barack Obama is a huge fan. In fact, four years ago at the White House, it was Buddy who convinced the then-President to sing with him on stage.

Johnny Sims has been friends with Buddy for more than 30 years.

"[The] first time meeting him was at his house for dinner."

The pair has worked closely together during that time, and now Johnny manages Buddy's bar.

"Being with Buddy has been amazing," he says.

And while everyone who works there feels like family to Buddy, Mark Nunn actually is. He's been married to Buddy's daughter for 25 years, and with a famous father-in-law, he's got some stories to share.

"BB King, he used set us on the stage when we used to see him, he'd take a folding chair and put us right on stage in front of the audience," he recalls.

Buddy, who turns 83 this year, is now looking to the future of the music genre by mentoring young talent so they can keep the blues alive.

"When he was here in the '50s, when he first got here, there was a blues bar on every corner. Now there's maybe four or five left, so he wants to keep the blues alive," says Mark.

And it doesn't matter where you're from or what colour you are, they say the blues is for everyone.

"The blues is something, like Buddy says, if you keep living - if you don't have it - you'll get it soon," says Johnny.

Briar Marbeck travelled to Chicago courtesy of Air New Zealand.