Buddy Guy review…June 25, 2018…

BUDDY GUY

THE BLUES IS ALIVE AND WELL

SILVERTONE/RCA RECORDS  19075-81247-2

A FEW GOOD YEARS–GUILTY AS CHARGED–COGNAC (FEAT.  JEFF BECK AND KEITH RICHARDS)–THE BLUES IS ALIVE AND WELL–BAD DAY–BLUE NO MORE (FEAT. JAMES BAY)–WHISKEY FOR SALE–YOU DID THE CRIME (FEAT. MICK JAGGER)–OLD FASHIONED–WHEN MY DAY COMES–NINE BELOW ZERO–OOH DADDY–SOMEBODY UP THERE–END OF THE LINE–MILKING MOTHER FOR YA

Buddy Guy is one of the last links to the Great Migration period of the post-WWII-era, when black musicians moved from the Deep South to the north, in search of employment not affiliated with a cotton field, at the same time adding to a legacy of some of the finest blues ever played.  Buddy’s 81 now, but he shows absolutely no signs of slowing down, especially with the release of his latest album, “The Blues Is Alive And Well,” for Silvertone Records.  The set was produced, and most of the songs were written in whole or in part by Buddy’s long-time collaborator and one of our favorites, Tom Hambridge.

The set leads off with Buddy’s heartfelt plea to the Good Lord to send “A Few Good Years on down.”  He revisits that theme a little later with the bittersweet story of the legends who have preceded him in passing, now proudly proclaiming himself, “I’m The End Of The Line.”  And, for anyone who thinks his guitar skills have eroded over time, give a listen to the scorching licks passed in “Somebody Up There must like me!”

There are some mighty fine special guests on board, too.  James Bay is on the duet vocal with Kevin McKendree on the keys on the poignant tale of when our race is run, and we’ll all be “Blue No More.”  Mick Jagger joins the fun and adds harp for the slow-burnin’ story of a cheatin’ lover, “You Did The Crime, but I’m the one doin’ the time,” with Kevin on piano and Rob McNelley on slide guitar.  Our favorite employed the considerable guitar talents of Keith Richards and Jeff Beck as Buddy hypes his liquor of choice, “Cognac.”  This slow-blueser goes down as smooth as a “$200-a-bottle” taste  of Remy Martin XO, “liquid gold in every sip.”

Folks, what can we say?  Reviewing this album from a true blues legend has been, and will always be, a privilege, a pleasure, and an honor.  We shall close with this, with all due respects to Muhammad Ali.  “There’ll always be contenders, there may even be pretenders, but they all gotta kneel down and surrender, ’cause there’s only one Buddy Guy, who’s got some truths to tell–that, sho’ nuff, “The Blues Is Alive And Well.”  Buddy, we love you!  Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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