Buddy Guy. Need More Be Said?
It was 1980. Buddy Guy was still out there in the career doldrums. Not starving - certainly not starving, but not accorded his due either by the mainstream music business or those people in the hardcore blues scene who, incredibly, loved to criticize him. The previous year he had recorded the 'Live At The Checkerboard' album (JSP8808) for me - a classic, seminal affair full of deep, deep blues and the most incredible performances you could possibly want. So, here we are. Time booked at Chicago's Sound Studios. What would he do' Well, not the expected that's for sure. This one is a true one-off - an album that confused everyone at the time but now makes perfect sense. It was a 'dry run' for stuff he would do when he got the (next) big break and was making records for a big, rock-orientated audience again. But those later sets never had this intensity, this hunger, this danger - this sheer cry of frustrated pain. Sometimes it's uncomfortable listening and sometimes it's just sweet natural blues but you will never understand Buddy guy without understanding this album. And some bonus tracks are here from brother Phil Guy. Why was this man never taken up by an American label, never had the exposure that he deserved' One listen to these tracks from a session cut in 1981 with Buddy guesting will show that this was a musician of power, talent, depth and wide experience. Some of the most powerful shows I ever saw in my life were when I was touring Phil regularly in England in the 1980's. When so much that is labeled 'blues' these days is nothing more than bar room rock, Phil's lack of exposure on the wider market was a tragedy.JOHN STEDMAN
Label: JSP Records
Release Date: 05/27/08
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