Guy Buttery

Primary Instrument: Guitar, acoustic

Born: November 26, 1983    

Guy Buttery

As you drive about 13 miles north of Durban, the largest city in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, you pass a lush fertile belt where the rich green shades of the sugar cane meet the turquoise of the Indian Ocean. This is where on the 26th November 1983, guitarist and composer Guy Buttery was born and raised in a small coastal town along the North Coast. This is a place of enchantment, freedom, promise and where the creative spirit takes charge.

Besides being introduced to music at an early age through his mother who plays the piano and his older brothers who played guitar, the muse naturally took hold of Guy when he was ten. It wasn’t out of peer pressure, but out of the necessity to liberate the creative whirlwind which was ever prevalent during those early years. Just think about it. As rich as the soil for his feet to stand on, you had local Zulu tribesmen, playing their brand of music known as Maskanda on finger-picked oil drum guitars. They are South Africa’s blues men, or wandering storytellers, which hollered their song into a young Buttery’s heart. Across the valley, the sounds of tabla and sitar could be heard from one of the many Indian Hindu temples bringing a diversity of colour, spirit and enlightenment into such an enquiring mind....
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Guy's debut album, “When I Grow Up...” was nominated for 'Best Instrumental Album of the Year' and 'Best Newcomer for 2002' at the South African Music Awards as well as being the youngest nominee in the history of the event. In 2003, the South African Rock Digest nominated “When I Grow Up...” as one of the top albums of the year. Guy’s 2nd release, “Songs from the Cane Fields” was also nominated for ‘Best Instrumental Album’ in 2006 at the South African Music Awards.


“… his music has a subtle grace and power all of its own. Though his technical prowess is also bewildering, Buttery immerses himself entirely into the soul of his guitar, coaxing sonic shapes and forms of such startling originality from it that his instrument acts as a kind of lightning conductor for the sound of another realm.”

- The Mail & Guardian

“There's a great mind inside the string player. You WILL be bowled over by such huge talent in one so young.”

- The Star “CD of the Week”

“Unorthodox twenty-something Guy Buttery throws down the gauntlet with an album of incredible versatility and imagination. There are times when it sounds as if there’s a seven-piece band backing Guy Buttery, so complex and rich is the sound, but it’s just him and his acoustic guitar exploring myriad textures and rhythms with an ingenious imagination and scant regard for music industry rules. It’s the kind of album that reveals something new at every turn, the kind of album that never gets old or outstays its welcome.”

- JHBLive

“Guy Buttery is the prodigiously gifted talent behind ”When I Grow Up...” an instrumental journey with Buttery and his guitar through the emotional hinterlands of KwaZulu-Natal. The title of the album is both ironic and sweetly appropriate. Buttery is a mere 18 years old, yet the content of the album suggests a mind and a talent, decades older.”

- The Independent on Saturday

“...the most exciting player I've seen in the last ten years, who is destined for greater heights.”

- The Daily News

“In a country with a vast dearth of fingerstyle guitarists, Guy Buttery does my heart fiercely proud. He is part of the next wave of young guitar players who stands out head and shoulders above the rest. With music at once uncompromising yet intensely passionate and articulate Guy is on a major guitar roll - may it roll long and wide!”

- Tony Cox Winner of numerous National Music Awards - Renowned Acoustic Guitarist

“...the concluding piece, “Self Portrait”, a meandering amalgam of harmonics, tapping, and picking - like something you might play sitting around some Sunday afternoon on the porch. That is, if you had the chops Guy Buttery does.”

- Minor7th Webzine - USA's leading Acoustic Guitar Reviewer

“Guy Buttery is one of the premier up and comers in the world of fingerstyle guitar today. His raw, unrestrained sense of time and movement is such a nice change of pace compared to the endless boring fingerstyle stuff I seem to always get in the mail for review. Sign me up for all future releases from this 'Guy'...”

- Rob Eberhard Young - World Renowned Acoustic Guitar Fingerstylist

“… persuasively original instrumental architectures that flow from impressionist acoustic guitar sketches and quietly psychedelic sitar improvisations to mandolin- picked pastoral tone poems kissed with classical, folk, bluegrass, and avant-garde filters.”

- The Mail & Guardian

”I am honored that Guy sites me as an influence. His music has a very strong heart. The passion comes through like a tidal wave.”

- Richard Leo Johnson - Legendary Acoustic Guitarist

“Incarnated with the joy of music in his fingers and an explorative curiosity in his mind, Buttery allows time to travel down the long neck of his guitar, writes poetry with his fingernails, chokes notes and then let’s them fly. And this is only the beginning….”

- Bejazzed Magazine

“At once sparse and perfectly complete, Buttery sings with his guitar previously unspoken words that are almost a language unto themselves. There is the echo of the Zulu guitar, the resonance of an emotional investment in landscape and the insular, imaginative mind of a talented young man.”

- The Independent on Saturday

“The sound of the music is idyllic and tranquil, full of breath and sense of wonder.”

- SL Magazine

“Put on this CD and you can almost feel the warm breeze off the Indian Ocean. Guy Buttery's music is all about atmosphere and contrast, and he's drawn from the sights and sounds of his South African surroundings and culture to conjure it all so magically. Somewhere halfway through ”Cane Fields” a smooth transition from fingerstyle to ambient acoustic tone poems occurs, experimental ground cleverly foisted as traditional.”

- Minor7th Webzine - USA's leading Acoustic Guitar Reviewer

“Guy Buttery is something of an enigma. His art is the product of a lengthy relationship with the structured sounds we call music, a deep and sensitive relationship that is evolving constantly. Guy’s temperament is placid, to say the least, yet there is a firey undertone underscoring much of his articulately composed work. I am noticeably amazed by the sheer depth of the material and the obvious pride he takes in the art of composition. The man has the ability to select a specific scene, convey the surroundings musically and set us upon a journey, enhanced by his ability to create music that sharply focuses the listener’s emotional sensitivity. To hear a person speak this way through sound is to be blessed.”

- SubKulture CDzine

“...I closed my eyes and imagined a small band of wizened African minstrels that might be playing strange, esoteric instruments. When I opened my eyes, Guy Buttery was still there. A lone person, having a conversation with wood and steel in an empty room.”

- The Saturday Independent - “Album of the Week”

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