Buddy Guy has unleashed some of his most powerful guitar playing and singing on this disc reminding the listener again and again just how powerful this man's guitar can be when he sets his mind to it, and just what vocal expression he can convey. As an added bonus here you have him playing one cut with B.B. King, to whom he gives tremendous credit for being an inspiration and mentor, and a cut with Carlos Santana, as well as having a top-rank backing group. When this man is "on" there are very few guitarists that can hold a candle to him, let alone come near his power and feel for the material, and he is red hot throughout the material on this disc. From the opening of notes of the autobiographical, slinky and understated, 74 Years Young to the closing notes of Skanky the title is an apt description of his playing on this disc—this musician is in top form. This disc doesn't let down the intensity at all through the 12 songs.
A fair bit of the credit probably must go to producer and drummer/percussionist Tom Hambridge for assembling the supporting cast and helping choose the songs, many of which he had a hand in writing. The feeling behind this disc that is very appropriately described in many ways in Stay Around A Little Longer, the duet performed by the 85 years young B.B. King, and Buddy, 74 years young, where we are privy to the thankfulness, joys, and appreciation these two feel for being able to do what they love and cherish, and with such grace and skill as to be nonpareil. When you listen to Living Proof it may cause you to wonder what all the commotion is about with some of the young guys that are getting big press now a days. In feel and in execution of both vocal delivery and timing, as well as instrumental prowess here is a master that blows them all away. This is one tasty scorcher of a disc proving once again that the experience that this 74 year young master has gained still puts him at the top of the pile.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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