Buddy Guy

Buddy Guy
Rhythm & Blues

RCA

By Ms. Marci
September 2013

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This is a two disc release, one disc titled Rhythym and the other, Blues. Mr. Guy is joined by rather impressive if not eclectic guess list. They are (in order of appearance) Kid Rock, Keith Urban, Beth Hart, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford and Gary Clark, Jr. Even though one might ask if he really needed “extras” on this project, they are frosting on an already sweet cake.

There’s a lot of ground to cover on this release so I’ll just touch on some things that impressed me. The first track on the Rhythm disc, “Best in Town,” comes on strong with Buddy’s signature strength and F-U-N-K-Y feel! He talks about how Muddy Waters inspired him in the beginning of his career and how he was motivated to be the best he could be … an important message for those struggling or coming up. Track 3, “I Go By Feel,” has a message that I think most true blues musicians can identify with. He relates to a blind man he met who said the way he lived his life was to “go by feel!”

Cut 4, “Messin’ With The Kid” starts with shades of Buddy’s old band mate, Junior Wells’ signature, “One, two, you know what to do!” No coincidence, Kid Rock is the guest vocalist. It’s just plain fun. The next guest, Keith Urban, starts “One Day Away” with his distinct voice and country influence. Buddy joins him seamlessly. It has a sentiment that I think we could all live a better life with. Don’t wait to tell people how you feel about them. I’m certain this song will inspire more than a few text messages, phone calls or emails. We get a little old school/gospel roots with cut 7, “I Done Got Over.” The next guest, Beth Hart, adds a strong touch with a voice that sounds like a hybrid of Koko Taylor and Etta James, but certainly not a clone on “What You Gonna Do About Me.” She has her own style. The next tune, “The Devil’s Daughter,” is pure blues in a minor key. Buddy’s guitar cuts like a knife as does his voice! I might be wrong, but the next track, “Whiskey Ghost,” is sung with conviction. One thing is for certain, there’s a real life story here. The Rhythm disc ends with, “Rhythm Inner Groove,” a funky snippet with drums, guitar and bass gittin’ down for all of 33 seconds, then it stops!

The Blues disc appropriately begins with “Meet Me In Chicago.” In spite of the title, it’s not as “Chicago” as you might expect. Not to say that’s bad. The music is just a bit funkier than Chicago blues. There are some fine backing vocals on this one, where he waxes nostalgic about Chi-town landmarks like Halsted Street and Wrigley Field. Back to the “natchel” blues for the remainder of this disc, starting with “Too Damn Bad,” followed by “Evil Twin,” where Guy is joined by Aerosmith vocalist, Steven Tyler and his fellow band mates, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford. Tyler’s voice is unmistakable! “I Could Die Happy,” starts with some sweet acoustic guitar followed by playful lyrics. When Buddy’s electric guitar kicks in, it ain’t nothin’ but the blues! Skipping ahead to one of my personal favorites, “All That Makes Me Happy Is The Blues,” resonates in my ears and my soul! The next three cuts have a similar effect … blues that “speak” to me. The Blues disc ends with the classic, “Poison Ivy.” Buddy punctuates this project with the statement, “I wish all of them was that easy!”

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