Wednesday, July 31, 2013


How in the world does Buddy Guy do it?  Ya, I know Mick Jagger turned 70 this week, and runs, like, 10 kilometers a show, but Buddy Guy plays all year long still, and is still making some of the best music out there in the blues world at 77. This new double album is not just the work of an old legend, it sounds like a guy half his age at the top of his game.  The voice is definitely still there, it's full of incendiary guitar licks, and the energy can't be beat.  In short, he's making the best new blues music out there.

Disc one is the rhythm set, aimed more at modern songs, while the second CD has the rawer, basic blues cuts.  Guy does a bit of songwriting, but mostly these are well-chosen tracks by outside writers, including Canada's David Gogo, and several by his drummer and producer, Tom Hambridge  No old classic covers here, which I'm glad of, Guy's proving he's got the drive to make contemporary stuff.  There are a handful of guest stars, which is really a distraction more than anything else.  Kid Rock, Keith Urban and the guys from Aerosmith might be there to add star power, but really they can't match the power coming from Guy, with his truly soulful voice.  More importantly, the players here, from swinging horns to accomplished vets like Reese Wynans on organ are laying down a big, juicy exciting sound.

Wailing away on his collection of custom and vintage Strats, Buddy Guy refuses to give up on the grand blues tradition of Chicago, which he learned on the stages with all the giants.  B.B. King was always separate from that scene, so really Guy is the only one still carrying the mantle, and amazingly, he's still moving forward rather than trading on past glories.

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