Buddy Guy – Rhythm & Blues (RCA 2013)
By the age of 77, most folks are retired…kickin’ it back..takin’ it easy. For Buddy Guy, it will be a mix of planes, trains, and automobiles in support of his awesome new album, “Rhythm & Blues”. He has been writing blues songs and playing his electric guitar for sixty years. His style influenced a rock generation of guitarists including Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, and Eric Clapton yet he often down plays his own skills. He mentored under Muddy Waters and has thrived in the competitive blues environment of Chicago…..and….he just keeps getting better!
Rhythm and Blues is not a tired retread of songs from yesterday but a brilliant celebration of today’s blues….electric…rockin…relevant! “ This world is goin crazy…all that makes me happy is the Blues” is a lyric from one of my favorite tracks. It sums up my world view and what drives me to spin blues tunes and write about the artists. TV is now a voyeuristic swath of “reality” and violence with billion dollar sport programming that focuses more on players peccadillos and injuries that what occurs on the pitch. Mainstream radio worldwide has largely bypassed the blues..too sedated..too real… in search of cheap thrills a la Lady Gaga, Kayne West, and Miley Cyrus. Buddy’s new album reminds us what great art and artists are all about.
Buddy toured with Janis Joplin back in the day and continues to share his stage with others. Buddy collaborates with Kid Rock for a jamming explicit version of “Messin’ with the Kid” that should make Junior Wells, Buddy’s long time partner, smile from heaven above. He teams with the vivacious Beth Hart for “What you should gonna do about me”…hot rockin’ blues. And members of Aerosmith join him for a great grindin blues tune, “Evil Twins”. Gary Clark Jr. contributes on the cut “The blues don’t care” and Keith Urban does a duo on “One Day Away” that highlights Buddy’s often overlooked vocal prowess.
In an age of sex tapes serving as the basis of “celebrity”, Buddy is a refreshing reminder of what greatness really is. He bares his soul on several cuts and sings and plays throughout with an unrivaled talent for the blues. This is, without a doubt, 2013 blues album of the year material. One of the tracks on the 2 cd production is a great tune, “Best in Town”. Well Buddy….you certainly are! He is on an extended tour of the United States through the rest of this year and word is he will be in Europe early next year. Catch him if he gets close to you….the rhythm and blues don’t get any better!