Review: Buddy Guy – Living Proof

Posted on: Sunday, Dec 26, 2010

Buddy Guy CD Cover

BUDDY GUY
“Living Proof”
Silvertone Records 88697-78107-2

This album is a celebration of Buddy Guy’s life now that he is, in the words of the opening track, 74 years young. All twelve tracks are written by drummer, Tom Hambridge, all but one in collaboration with a selection of co-writers, including five with Buddy Guy himself. In addition to Guy and Hambridge, the excellent band comprises David Grissom on guitar, Michael Rhodes on bass and Reese Wynans on a variety of keyboard instruments.

The aforementioned first track shuffles into focus and delivers a typically bristling guitar solo from Buddy Guy. “Thank Me Someday”, a fabulous slow blues, which reminisces about early childhood and the obsessive development of his guitar-related skills, is followed by the hard-driven “On The Road” while the superbly performed “Stay Around A Little Longer” features BB King, as he and Buddy give thanks for their longevity and declare that there’s still a lot more to come from them both.

“Key Don’t Fit”, another slow blues, boasts lyrical shades of “Red House” and is embellished by a tremendous guitar solo. The title track, a terrific rocking shuffle leads to “Where The Blues Begins”, which features some wonderful, trademark guitar work from Carlos Santana, before the rollicking “Too Soon” provides some equally sublime pyrotechnics from Guy.

As its title suggests, “Everybody’s Got To Go” is a philosophical offering while “Let The Door Knob Hit Ya” is another rocking shuffle, this time with more than a hint of Freddie King. The marvellous compilation is concluded with another slow blues, “Guess What” and the rousing instrumental, “Skanky”.

It is quite simply one of the very best blues albums to be published this year and is strongly recommended. Unsurprisingly, it has been nominated for a 2011 Grammy award in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category.

Buddy Guy’s website

Lionel Ross

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