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All I really can think of after having Buddy Guys scorching “The Blues Is Still Alive” in heavy rotation on my iTunes the past few days is nobody – and I mean NOBODY alive ( and almost nobody dead ) can match this M’effer playing the blues.
Greats like Clapton, Clarke, Cray, Page, Mayall, Beck ( as in Jeff ) and Richards all worship at the Alter Of Buddy and would be happy just to string his custom ’89 signature Strat’ let alone join him onstage and this newest release by the polkadotted guitar slinger showcases every reason why.
Right from the start, Buddy Guy makes it clear that he is not resting on his legendary status, firing off taut licks as he delivers a doleful plea on mortality, looking back over eighty-one years of life on “Somebody Up There” which is quintessential Buddy. His gripping vocal here serves as a reminder that Guy has always been an outstanding singer, a fact he reinforces repeatedly throughout the disc.
Track 13: Somebody Up There”- 4:28
“Cognac” is a fitting celebration of Guy’s beverage of choice, elevated by the presence of guests Keith Richards and Jeff Beck, the three guitarists trading solos while Guy sends a shout-out to an old friend, singing,”If the late Muddy Waters was here drinking with us, that bottle would be ten times gone!” speaking of one of the very few blues giants ( along with B.B. ) that I would put above Buddy himself.
Other standout cut’s include “A Few Good Years”, When My Day Comes”, Whiskey For Sale” and the horn drenched R&B title track “The Blues Is Alive And Well”
Track4: The Blues Is Alive And Well” – 5:14
If you really dig the blues – especially the stinging, high voltage, hair-on-fire rock based Chicago blues sound – you will absolutely love this masterpiece to death which we are hoping this 81 year old, still hard touring virtuoso will keep from his door while pouring out gems like “The Blues Is Still Alive And Well”.
And if he plays anywhere’s near you go see this blues legend before that sad day comes and be prepared to be blown away by what you hear. Six stringers this damn good don’t come around too often. -Mez –
The Blues Is Alive And Well Tracklist
- A Few Good Years
- Guilty As Charged
- Cognac (featuring Jeff Beck & Keith Richards)
- The Blues Is Alive And Well
- Bad Day
- Blue No More (featuring James Bay)
- Whiskey For Sale
- You Did The Crime (featuring Mick Jagger)
- Old Fashioned
- When My Day Comes
- Nine Below Zero
- Ooh Daddy
- Somebody Up There
- End Of The Line