Buddy Guy review…August 8, 2015…

BUDDY GUY

BORN TO PLAY GUITAR

RCA/SILVERTONE  88875-12037-2

BORN TO PLAY GUITAR–WEAR YOU OUT–BACK UP MAMA–TOO LATE–WHISKEY, BEER, AND WINE–KISS ME QUICK–CRYING OUT OF ONE EYE–(BABY) YOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES–TURN ME WILD–CRAZY WORLD–SMARTER THAN I WAS–THICK LIKE MISSISSIPPI MUD–FLESH AND BONE (DEDICATED TO B. B. KING)–COME BACK MUDDY

Long-time fans of Buddy Guy are familiar with his “comeback” album of sorts, (even tho he never really went anywhere!), “Damn Right I’ve Got The Blues.”  A few years later, he revisited his roots and gave us all a cold drink of “Sweet Tea.”  You’ll find elements of both of those albums on his latest, “Born To Play Guitar,” on the RCA/Silvertone label.

There are some serious Tennessee connections, too.  Glenn Worf is on bass, Kevin McKendree and Reese Wynans are on keys, and Tom Hambridge is on drums, and doubles as producer.  Buddy kicks things off with the autobiographical title cut, reminding us all that “I got a reputation” and “I got blues runnin’ thru my veins!”  Billy Gibbons is the first special guest, as he and Buddy trade stories of ’54 Strats and “Seventy-something Eldorados.” because “I ain’t slowin’ down ’til I Wear You Out!”  Joss Stone joins Buddy for a playfully-sexy duet on the Brook Benton/Dinah Washington chestnut, “Baby, You Got What It Takes!”

Buddy revisits his days with Junior Wells as Kim Wilson blows some mean harp on the Little Walter classic, “Too Late,” and a cool shot of love on the run, “Kiss Me Quick.”  “Damn Right”-era contemporary blues are well-represented, too, with the wah-wah workout of “Turn Me Wild,” “Crazy World,” and the horn-heavy romp, “Thick Like Mississippi Mud.”

We had three favorites, too.  Rob McNelley adds some sweet slide guitar to the sly tale of “havin’ a Back Up Mama, in case mama Number One ain’t around!”  Van Morrison’s duet with Buddy on a tribute to B. B. King is entitled “Flesh And Bones,” and takes on a spiritual tone as the fellows sing “we’ll all live on, in the sweet by and by.”  Backing harmonies are provided by the iconic McCrary Sisters, also.  Buddy closes the set with a plaintive request, “Come Back Muddy,” as he recounts the glory days of those two legends, singing “Lord knows, you can’t be replaced.”  Doyle Bramhall II adds twelve-string guitar, and Reese is on the ol’ upright piano.

Buddy put it best at the climax of the opening cut.  “When I’m gone, there’ll be a polka-dot guitar resting on my grave.”  Not only was he “Born To Play Guitar,” he promised Muddy he’d do his best to carry this bidness on!  Buddy, we love you, man, and thank you so much for a lifetime of great blues!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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