Buddy Guy – Living Proof (2010)

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Buddy Guy is a great, living blues legend who can still play guitar and sing as well as he’s always has. But his albums of late have been inconsistent. In the case of his last album, Skin Deep (2008), all the guest appearances diluted that hard-driving Chicago electric blues sound, a sound of which he was one of the arcthitects. Living Proof cuts down the star guest appearances to only two tracks and for the remaining ten, we get the real, undiluted Buddy Guy, the one who rips up the joint at the top blues venues like his own southside Legends club. The autographical nature of most of the songs gives the record even more focus, something else he’s lacked since 2001’s Sweet Tea. Guy treats many of the cuts like “74 Years Young,” “Thank Me Someday,” and “Living Proof” as if he was being interviewed about his life.

“Where the Blues Begins” features Carlos Santana and that familiar relaxed Latin blues groove makes it more of a Santanas song than Guy’s, although it’s not a bad song. All the same, “Stay Around A Little Longer” is a duet with B.B. King, and the slow, gospel blues is more B.B.’s style. It seems every blues player who’s achieved any fame at all has done a duet with King, but this one is special, because King is collaborating with someone who is roughly his contemporary, someone who actually started his career too early to be influenced by him, and who has been nearly as influential. The two trade spoken compliments toward the end of the song, which is kinda hokey, except for the fact it’s between two giants and they mean it. King ends it by assuring Guy “when I’m pushing up daisies, don’t forget: you’re still my Buddy.”

Living Proof, on the streets since October 25, is more my kind of Buddy.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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