BUDDY GUY — The Blues is Alive and Well (review)

BUDDY GUY — The Blues is Alive and Well album cover Album · 2018 · Jazz Related Blues Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Aged 82 and Buddy Guy still doesn’t seem to be slowing down and neither does his approach to his Blues with some great rocking numbers and a few ballads thrown in for good measure on this latest album. Once again Buddy mentions where he originated from in Louisiana being the town of Lettsworth with him standing under the town’s sign for the cover of this latest release “The Blues Is Alive And Well”. Tom Hambridge is back again for the fifth album contributing the majority of the song writing, drumming and even squeezing in the Production. Not only that, as with all his recent albums of course there are guests included comprising Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, James Bay and Mick Jagger contributing to three of the fifteen tracks inserting quite a nice balance and bringing a bit of variety to the album but keeping the other twelve songs just for Buddy which is what we all want to hear anyway with the majority emanating primarily from what seems like his signature today, that polka dot guitar.

“A Few Good Years” is first up with the guitar opening straight up for this ballad with Buddy singing “a few good years is all I need right now” and when one hits 82 I suppose it is not too much to hope for. I’ve always loved his rockers being precisely what “Guilty As Charged” is with the Blues Pedal on and Buddy ripping out his great jagged chords with one great solo inserted. Buddy’s love of “Cognac” features for the next slowed up number with Jeff Beck and Keith Richards also contributing on guitars and Buddy mentioning both of them during the song for this not to be taken too seriously great tune. The title “The Blues Is Alive And Well” is classic Buddy with horns backing Buddy in this great mid tempo number. James Bay is next with Buddy for the rolling “Blues No More” and the only guest to contribute vocals as with Mick Jagger’s contribution in the later Blues ballad “You Did The Crime” it is harmonica only. I hear David Bowie’s “Fame” for the timing of “Whisky For Sale” with the rest of the album comprising a great mix of Rockers and Ballads following up for the remaining seven songs. Special mention goes for the blistering rocker “Ooh Daddy” and the following “End Of The Line” with Buddy singing “I’m the last one to turn out the lights” in the album’s 2nd last song and he may well be right as the last of the Classic Bluesmen.

Of course he will have another Grammy for his mantelpiece with this Production. Great album not a lot new but it is fabulous Blues with no pretensions.
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