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A Closer Look: Buddy Guy


  • Artist: Buddy Guy
  • Album: Born to Play the Blues
  • Label: RCA Records
  • Release Date: 7/31/15 

I have followed the careers of both Buddy Guy and his bandmate of many years, the late harp man Junior Wells. They made some of the best blues to come out of Chicago in the fifties and sixties. Buddy pioneered a lot of modern guitar technique, and was the idol of many a sixties and seventies rockers, including Jimmi Hendrix. The legendary pioneer of the Chicago blues scene has just turned 79, but he is still one of the most exhilarating guitarists in the world, and still has a powerful and beautiful voice.

His latest CD, entitled “Born To Play Guitar” continues Guy’s tradition of high-quality guitar work and blues singing. The album is very entertaining, very upbeat, and just sounds great. It is well produced by drummer Tom Hambridge, who wrote or co-wrote all twelve of the original songs here, five of them five with Buddy. This work is definitely a "five-star" effort, although not necessarily one of his all-time best. Still, it is a monster production and a great honor to Buddy Guy.

The album is also peppered with special appearances: Guy Holds court with all-stars Billy Gibbons, Kim Wilson, Joss Stone, Doyle Bramhall, and Van Morrison. Guy performs the stunning gospel-soul-blues tribute to B.B. King in a duet "Flesh & Bone" with Van Morrison. In another tribute to his great mentor and friend Muddy Waters titled "Come Back Muddy" Guy brilliantly played on dual acoustic guitars with Doyle Bramhall II. On the stellar soul blues "Crying Out of One Eye" the Muscle Shoals Horns will blow you away. The riff on "Wear You Out" with Billy Gibbons is a distorted, driven, swampy, teeth gritting, foot-stomping rocker. . Harmonica master Kim Wilson is featured on "Too Late", a popular Little Walter number. . He also plays a great solo on the Hambridge original "Kiss Me Quick". To top it off, singer Joss Stone sounds like she's having the time of her life on "You Got What It Takes".

"Born to Play Guitar" is a must hear. - Scott Hickman