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Buddy Guy - Damn Right, I’ve Got The Blues

Review: 034
Date: 23 Jul 01

 


Rating: 5 Blue Stars

Musicians:
Buddy Guy - vocals, electric guitar
Greg Rzab - bass guitar
Richie Hayward - drums
Pete Wingfield - piano
Mick Weaver - organ
Neil Hubbard - guitar
John Porter - guitar
The Memphis Horns - trumpet, saxophone, trombone

Tracks Listing:
1. Damn Right, I’ve Got The Blues
2. Where Is The Next One Coming From
3. Five Long Years
4. Mustang Sally
5. There Is Something On Your Mind
6. Early In The Morning
7. Too Broke To Spend The Night
8. Black Night
9. Let Me Love You Baby
10. Rememberin’ Stevie

 


When Buddy Guy played the Hard Rock Café in Bangkok in 1992, he was asked which present day ‘Blues’ guitarists he liked. Buddy just laughed and said that he was the only real blues guitarist left, as everybody else was just in it for the money. He told the story of when he had followed Muddy Waters up to Chicago from Mississippi in the 50’s. Muddy Waters was broke and Buddy wanted to be just like him, in fact on his first meeting with his idol, he claimed that Muddy had saved his life, as if he hadn’t shared his dried salami and cheese with him the young Buddy Guy would have starved to death.

For these of you wanting to hear some genuine ‘Blues’ music, recorded in a modern studio with all the sound quality that this gives, this is the album for you. It was, unanimously, voted Blues album of the year by the Grammies in 1992. This album just reeks of class.

Buddy used his basic road band of long time bassist Greg Rzab on bass, Mick Weaver on keyboards and Richie Hayward on drums (temporarily borrowed from Little Feat). The group went to Battery studios with producer John Porter, who does a superb job keeping the sound clear and precise.

Several musicians stopped round during this period to pay their respects and add a lick here and a solo there. These people included the guitarists, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler, plus the Memphis Horns. 

Strangely, one of the weaker moments on the album is “Early In The Morning” which has the Memphis Horns, Clapton and Beck on it. It leaves the feeling that perhaps it was left on the album just to add to the star rating, not for it’s actual quality. The other low point on the album is a run through of Sir Mack Rice’s “Mustang Sally”, a fine song but Buddy does little to distinguish his version from the 500 other cover versions.

The rest of the album though is pure golden Blues. The two long, slow Blues workouts are outstanding and allow Buddy to do what he does best, play his guitar. You get eight and a half minutes of the Eddie Boyd Classic “Five Long Years” and seven and a half minutes of “Black Night” by Jesse Robinson. John Porter’s production leaves both of these songs stripped to the bone, and let the emotions drip from the guitar and vocals. Spiritually these songs leave you exhausted, but nothing can prepare you for the albums final cut which is Buddy Guy’s tribute to his friend, Stevie Ray Vaughn. “Remembering Stevie” is an outstanding instrumental Blues song that literally sends shivers up and down your spine. Close your eyes and you can see Buddy playing with his eyes shut and the band giving sympathetic support, with Stevie looking down from high above.

On this album, Buddy Guy makes mere pale imitators of all those that try to follow him. If you want the Blues, go for the real thing, go for Buddy.

 

Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew

E-mail: review@mott-the-dog.com


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