At this point in Buddy Guy's career that may just be nothing left to say. Genius. Master. Guitar-shredder. Blues demi-god. All kinds of praise and accolades get heaped upon him. All this admiration is well deserved and his release The Definitive Buddy Guy provides additional proof.
The Definitive Buddy Guy is a collection of material released between 1958 and 2001. Seventeen songs released on singles, on albums, with full bands, as duos or trios, electric and acoustic. In short, this is such a great sample of Guy's work that the CD title The Definitive is not over the top.
One thing that that stands out strong in this collection is that Buddy Guy does not play watered down blues. There never seems to be a conscious attempt to make his blues have broad commercial appeal. Buddy Guy plays blues, painful blues, joyous blues, dark blues and blues that will lift you up. Buddy Guy plays blues, deep blues, and if you do not appreciate blues before you get to him you may miss the point. You may fail to appreciate the genius, masterful, guitar shredding blues demi-god, Buddy Guy.
The collection opens up with Sit And Cry (The Blues). A 1958 single that not only captures the sound of late '50s blues but gives a small prevue of who this young performer will become. His voice is emotional and strong. His guitar work is smooth and engaging.
Next up are some cuts from his time with Chess. Songs like First Time I Met The Blues and When My Left Eye Jumps document the continued development of Guy's style with both the guitar and vocals.
Several tracks from 1968 through 1978 give some more great music while documenting that impact of his long relationship with Junior Wells. Something seems to happen around 1980. give or a take a year. The 1981 cover of Champion Jack Dupree's When I Left Home reveals a bluesman who is completely tapped into the blues. Buddy Guy longer merely plays the blues, he IS the blues!
What has come since then is continued revelation of Buddy Guy's blue soul. The album closes with Baby Please Don't Leave Me and if you aren't moved by this track you are either permanently blues-challenged or simply dead.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I'll give this CD an 11. Go get it. Now!
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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