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Slippin' In

Buddy Guy

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Album Review

Whereas on 1993's Feels Like Rain Buddy Guy flirted with pop and R&B material, on Slippin' In, released one year later, he firmly reasserts his bluesness. From the very first track on, Guy lets his incomparable guitar loose. Throughout the album, he even experiments with Hendrix-esque effects on his guitar (perhaps at the prodding of producer/engineer Eddie Kramer), but the results never seem kitschy or gimmicky. Accompanied on half of the tracks by ex-Stevie Ray Vaughan associates Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton, the groove is deep and swinging. It makes you realize how much of Vaughan's signature sound lay in his rhythm section. There are only two original Guy compositions on Slippin' In, but since he has always been better as an interpreter than a writer, this is a non-complaint. Playing a superb foil to the leader is none other than Johnnie Johnson, whose solo on "7-11" simply takes over the track. The difference in sound quality between this album and Feels Like Rain is astounding. Whereas on Feels Like Rain the sound was often thin and unimpressive, über-engineer Kramer has created an ideal sonic space here for Guy's music. Some may feel that the individual instruments are too distinct, but for those who feel that the development of multi-tracking and other advances in recording technology are good things will not be disappointed. Also absent from Slippin' In is the rotating all-star casts of notables that appeared both on Damn Right, I've Got the Blues and Feels Like Rain. This is encouraging, because an artist of Guy's stature and caliber does not need celebrity appearances to make his records worth investigating, a fact which he proves masterfully on this album.

Biography

Born: 30 July 1936 in Lettsworth, LA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Buddy Guy is one of the most celebrated blues guitarists of his generation (and arguably the most celebrated), possessing a sound and style that embodied the traditions of classic Chicago blues while also embracing the fire and flash of rock & roll. Guy spent much of his career as a well-regarded journeymen, cited as a modern master by contemporary blues fans but not breaking through to a larger audience, before he finally caught the brass ring in the 1990s and released a series of albums that...
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