June 11, 2018 Buddy Guy – The Blues Is Alive And Well (Album Review)
A forefather of the Blues, Buddy Guy is a seven-time Grammy Award winner, holding five No. 1 albums under his hat, who helped bridge the gap between the Blues and Rock -n-Roll. A master Bluesman, Buddy Guy is still heavily active writing, recording, and touring at 81 years young. Never slowing down, Buddy Guy returns on June 15, 2018, with his new album, The Blues Is Alive And Well, thanks to Silvertone/RCA Records.
For those experiencing the intoxication of Blues music for the first time, the legacy of Buddy Guy, and who this man is to the Blues, is paramount for all listeners to study right out of the gate. George “Buddy” Guy was born in 1936 in Lettsworth, Louisiana. A child of the early 20th Century utopia known as Chicago Blues, Guy is regarded as more than a Blues legend, essentially, Buddy Guy is a Blues God.
Inspiring nearly every great Blues guitarist who came after him – Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Mayer – Guy has been the proverbial measuring stick for Blues musicians for over a half century. Among countless honors, Guy was presented with the 2015 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, inducted as a 2005 Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, and a 2012 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, all cementing Guy’s status in Blues history. More recently, in 2018, Guy was selected to close the doors of New York City’s B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, and if it could not be the late B.B. King, Buddy Guy was certainly the right man for the job.
On The Blues Is Alive And Well, Guy has collaborated once again with longtime Producer Tom Hambridge to follow-up his acclaimed 2015 album, Born To Play Guitar, an album which debuted at No.1 on the Billboard Top Blues Album Chart. Even better, The Blues Is Alive And Well features guest appearances by a few gentlemen who you could say are music icons.
Kicking off The Blues Is Alive And Well, “A Few Good Years” hits the spot with those soothing and yearning notes Blues fans have come to love. The sharp “Guilty As Charged” precedes a song about getting drunk in style, “Cognac (Featuring Jeff Beck and Keith Richards).” Here, this mind-blowing trio pay homage to a fine spirit, and as Guy implies in the song, the one to drink when playing the Blues. The title track, “The Blues Is Alive And Well,” needs no explanation as “Bad Day” says don’t push my buttons alongside a killer Blues solo.
Bringing in a modern artist, “Blue No More” features English Singer-Songwriter James Bay for a slow number where Guy expresses how the Blues is everything in his soul. As if one drink was not enough, “Whiskey For Sale” is a funky invitation to indulge before Mick Jagger sweetens the pot with harmonica on the smokey Blues tune “You Did The Crime”. Next, on “Old Fashioned,” Guy praises his love for being old-school before the destiny of “When My Day Comes.” A more traditional sound, “Nine Below Zero” brings the listener back to the early age of the Blues before the howlin’ “Ooh Daddy.” Thankful for second chances, “Somebody Up There” is for those with luck on their side. A swan song, Guy shows much personality on “End Of The Line,” declaring “I promise ’til the day I die, I am gonna keep these Blues alive.”
As his train keeps rolling, Buddy Guy shines through his wondrous story-telling and arresting Blues riffs, thus justifying his legacy on The Blues Is Alive And Well. Over the course of his unparalleled career, Guy has proven you don’t just listen to the Blues, you experience it! All this said, there is nothing better than the Blues, and the immortal genre is very much alive and well thanks to legends like Buddy Guy. A fine addition for Buddy Guy fans, CrypticRock gives The Blues Is Alive And Well 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Purchase The Blues Is Alive And Well: