Buddy Guy review…August 2, 2013…

BUDDY GUY

RHYTHM AND BLUES

RCA SILVERTONE RECORDS   88883-75780-2

RHYTHM:  BEST IN TOWN–JUSTIFYIN’–I GO BY FEEL–MESSIN WITH THE KID (FEAT. KID ROCK)–WHAT’S UP WITH THAT WOMAN–ONE DAY AWAY (FEAT. KEITH URBAN)–WELL I DONE GOT OVER IT–WHAT YOU GONNA DO ABOUT ME (FEAT. BETH HART)–THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER–WHISKEY GHOST–RHYTHM-INNER GROOVE

BLUES:  MEET ME IN CHICAGO–TOO DAMN BAD–EVIL TWIN (FEAT. JOE PERRY, STEVEN TYLER, AND BRAD WHITFORD)–I COULD DIE HAPPY–NEVER GONNA CHANGE–ALL THAT MAKES ME HAPPY IS THE BLUES–MY MAMA LOVED ME–BLUES DON’T CARE (FEAT. GARY CLARK, JR.)–I CAME UP HARD–POISON IVY

 

With a prestigious Kennedy Center honor earlier this year for a lifetime of great blues, Buddy Guy is literally on top of the world of contemporary blues, and one might think he’d rest on his considerable laurels.  But, instead, Buddy has just released one of the best albums of his storied career.  “Rhythm And Blues” is twenty-one cuts of Buddy at his best over two discs.  And, he’s once again teamed with long-time friend and collaborator Tom Hambridge as producer, and a killer list of guest artists that spur Buddy to some outstanding guitar work over the course of the whole set.

Let’s get to the music.  The “Rhythm” disc is punctuated by a smokin’ horn section on several cuts.  There is some excellent stuff on this one, too.  Buddy’s minor-key ode to a blind bluesman, aptly-titled “I Go By Feel,” has a soulful, Staples Singers vibe.  He’s joined by Beth Hart on a tale of two lovers who aren’t necessarily ready to throw in the towel on “What You Gonna Do About Me,” while the subdued, somber duet with Keith Urban reminds us that nothing is guaranteed, and we should never wish “One Day Away.”  And, kid Rock joins Buddy for a free-for-all on “Messin’ With The Kid!”  (Attention, DJ;s–it’s NOT FCC clean!)  But, for us, the best of this disc kicks it off–Buddy’s swagger is on full display as he tells everyone “you don’t have to be the Best In Town–just be the best until the best comes around!”

Disc Two, the “Blues” disc, is just that–real-deal Chicago blues from arguably one of the best to ever play them.  It starts with an homage to the Windy City, the guitar-fest that is “Meet Me In Chicago.”  He employs some sweet acoustic work on the sly “I Could Die Happy,” then plays some deep, slow-burning notes on his ode to lost love, “All That Makes Me Happy Is The Blues.”  The guest stars shine on this set, too.  “Evil Twin” is another classic slow-blues about a cheatin’ babe, and teams Buddy with Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and Brad Whitford of Aerosmith.   And, Gary Clark, Jr. joins in on the uptempo “Blues Don’t Care,” because the blues is “the middle finger on the hand of fate!”

Buddy Guy is enjoying the fruits of his fifty-year career.  He’s got Grammys, Blues Awards, and a Rolling Stone nod as one of the  100 Greatest Guitarists of all time.  With “Rhythm And Blues,” it’s easy to see why he’s stood the test of time!   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow

 

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