CD Review: Buddy Guy ~ Born To Play Guitar

Buddy Guy
Born To Play Guitar
Silvertone Records/RCA

BornToPlayGuitar_CoverArtThe waiting is over we can all buy, listen and listen again to the latest impeccable album from Buddy Guy, Born To Play Guitar.  It is only to be expected that the legend that reaches back to the early days of Chicago Blues and back to Louisiana and the roots of the blues, has delivered once again a stylish album. Produced by Tom Hambridge a longtime collaborator of Buddy combined with guest appearances by Van Morrison, Joss Stone, Kim Wilson and Billy Gibbons. Every track reverberates along every string of the guitar and every note he sings with blues of stinging elegance. Born To Play Guitar is a fitting title as Buddy celebrates his 79th birthday and has been playing a stringed instrument he made himself when he was just  seven years old, fashioning his first makeshift “guitar”—a two-string contraption attached to a piece of wood and secured with his mother’s hairpins.

There is plenty of vim and vigour, as he celebrates electric Chicago blues with many a track that just invites you on the dance floor. This is blues that that delivers celebrating and showcasing the heritage he wants to keep alive and the album is like a river full of hidden depths, lazy shallows and torrid white water. He is the river that flows deep into the past as one of the final surviving connections to an historic era in the country’s musical evolution. The album though has a modern looking forward feel, it is the work of a musical mind steeped in blues but does not want the music trapped in a jelly mould.  The collaborations within the album work perfectly enhancing the tone and textures achieved thanks to his guest that include  ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Fabulous Thunderbirds’  Kim Wilson, Joss Stone and Van Morrison appearing on a track dedicated to the late B.B. King, Flesh & Bone.  Opening with the title track an autobiographical narrative that charts the highs and lows of Buddy’s life and the central role of the guitar from cradle to grave.  There is a growl and drive in Wear You Out and the music is blues that is perfect for any road trip as Billy Gibbons adds to the vocals. This is an album that is full of remembered pasts and a shared history with the closing tracks Flesh and Blood and Come Back Muddy dedicated to BB King and Muddy Waters keeping the links with past and future alive. No blues album is complete without a track that has Whiskey in the lyrics. Here we have a bartenders list Whiskey, Beer and Wine, with its distorted guitar and the painting of the picture of a bar where many come to solve their problems one drink at a time; a classic track. Crying Out One Of Eye is full of deep drums and searing horns that act as punctuation marks to the lyrics; this is wailing blues that connects straight into our emotional DNA.  The power of the word when emphasized through music is at the heart of Crazy World with the reverb of voice and guitar the repetitions and shadows of something we just can’t see and hear. It is a an anthem of the world today as seen by Buddy who has seen so much in his sparkling career bring Blues to be enjoyed and understood to many.

This is an album full of tributes to the great sound and style and purveyors of the blues it is also celebrating Buddy Guy’s fifty years of playing music we want to hear and a celebration of the relevance of blues and a man Born To Play Guitar right in the here and NOW!

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Buddy Guy – Born To Play Guitar – RCA/Silvertone

Track Listing

  1. Born To Play Guitar
  2. Wear You Out
  3. Back Up Mama
  4. Too Late
  5. Whiskey, Beer and Wine
  6. Kiss Me Quick
  7. Crying Out Of One Eye
  8. (Baby) You Got What It Takes
  9. Turn Me Wild
  10. Crazy World
  11. Smarter Than I Was
  12. This Like Mississippi Mud
  13. Flesh & Bone
  14. Come Back Muddy

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