Music You Don't Know You Like Yet
Let's get this out of the way, right up front. At the age of 76 Buddy Guy has still got it. The two disc release features one side of Rhythm and the other of Blues. With his voice still ringing clear and his prowess on guitar fully intact, Guy gets right to it on the Rhythm disc with Best in Town where he doesn't shy away from the title. While some may be put off by that bold sentiment, his well deserved confidence is tempered by his acknowledgment that no matter how good you are that lasts only until the next best in town comes along. On the reflective I Go By Feel he reveals that his gifts are the result of feel more than design and that he uses the same sense of feel to find the right woman. Guy's old partner Junior Wells' classic Messin' With the Kid is reprised here on a duet with Kid Rock that is more bombast than blues but a fun listen nevertheless. Other highlights on Rhythm include the nod to Guitar Slim on the guitar showcase, Well I Done Got Over It, the show stopping duet with vocalist Beth Hart, What You Gonna Do About Me, and the country inflected One Day Away where he trades vocals with Keith Urban and urges that no time be wasted in telling parents and loved ones how much they mean to you lest you be a day too late to share your feelings. Blues starts with Guy's homage to his adopted hometown, Meet Me in Chicago, which features not only Guy's fleet fingered fret work but a name-dropping tour of the City's big attractions. The standard blues shuffles of Too Damn Bad and Never Gonna Change could be the soundtrack of any blues bar on a Saturday night- as long as the blues bar featured an on-fire Buddy Guy! Evil Twin features Aerosmith's Steven Tyler swapping vocals with Guy and its guitar duo of Joe Perry and Brad Whitford having fun trading leads on something other than classic rock. While much of the material is high intensity electric blues Guy gets down and dirty on the slinky I Could Die Happy where he makes a valiant run at a younger woman and on All That Makes Me Happy is the Blues where he trots out well-worn insights about the redemptive power of the blues. Even though Guy spends a lot of time walking down a bumpy memory lane on My Mama Loved Me and I Came Up Hard he ultimately admits the blues will get you no matter how rich your life and memories, Blues Don't Care. The disc ends on the upbeat Poison Ivy where Guy continues to extol his many gifts to the ladies. As great as it is to discover the next big thing, it is even better to discover that storied musicians such as Buddy Guy still have their gifts intact and deserve reverence not only for what they've done in the past but for what they continue to do today. SMITTY
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