Blues purists who might have run from the very sight of Buddy Guy might now
rejoice in seeing him.
Well. For a little while anyway. On Blues Singer, Buddy puts his electric
guitar away in the case and forgets about reaching for high decibel levels
like he did on Sweet Tea.
Recording these songs as a tribute to boogieman John Lee Hooker, Guy
re-creates those long lost nights of them Saturday night fish fry's. The
only guest appearances are made by B.B. King and Eric Clapton on "Crawlin
Kingsnake" and "Lucy Mae Blues." Others present include guitarist Jimbo
Mathus, Tony Garnier on stand up bass and Jim Keltner on drums.
Sparse instrumentation. But enough to leave air pockets for Buddy's vocal
and acoustic guitar connections. "Blues Singer" sees Buddy Guy slowly
exhaling and taking a breather from his electrified ravings. Slow plucking
in "Moanin and Groanin" tips its hat to the song's author Johnny Shines. The
Son House standard "Louise McGhee" becomes in Buddy's hands a soybean of
Delta lust as a hypnotic riff plays itself out. Guy could feel very
comfortable at the crossroads when he dabbles in Hooker's "Sally Mae" and
"Black Cat Blues" letting the world know that acoustic instruments is where
this music came from.
In the past where Buddy had so many special guests sitting in with him, he
does well enough alone. And even better when he pulls songs out of the Fat
Possum catalog. In these settings, Guy can be at his best. Even Buddy can't
deny backporch blues are a stimulant and artistically better when the
amplifiers are left at home.
Recorded at Sweet Tea Recording Studios.
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