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Buddy Guy & Junior Wells Play the Blues

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Recensione album

This 1972 disc is an unlikely candidate for the expanded treatment, especially considering that Buddy Guy had to record two additional tunes, without Junior Wells, a few years after the 1970 Eric Clapton-produced session just to have enough material for the original ten-track record. Interestingly, the 13 additional cuts unearthed for this 2005 limited-edition reissue of Buddy Guy & Junior Wells Play the Blues provide over twice the running time of the initial eight-song session. The three tunes tacked onto the end of disc one alone are worth the price of admission, with a version of Memphis Minnie's "Dirty Mother for You" a highlight. It's inexplicable why no one felt that this track, or the two other previously unreleased tracks that follow it, were good enough to be included on the album when it was first out. Sure, there are a few missed cues and bum notes, but the band's playing is enthusiastic and both Guy and Wells seem to be having a ball. Disc two collects ten more Clapton-produced songs that also weren't given the nod. A long version of "Bad Bad Whiskey" with Slowhand on slide guitar runs a few minutes longer than the officially released version, and three "mono rough mixes," along with six more polished tracks, show there was plenty of raw material recorded at the original session. While not considered commercial enough at the time, leftovers such as a nine-minute take on Tampa Red's "Love Her with a Feeling" with extra verses, and a funky "Checkin' Up on My Baby" are tough, crackling, and rollicking. Wells and Guy trade lead vocals and both are in fine voice, with the former blowing edgy Chicago harp and the latter whipping off some sizzling guitar licks. Clapton returns for acoustic slide on Little Walter's slow blues "Last Night," an eight-minute burner that maintains its easy yet tense groove which is helped immensely by Mike Utley's Otis Spann-styled stately piano, even though Guy seems to forget the words. Additional photos from Jim Marshall who shot the classic cover, and track-specific liner notes in the accompanying 20-page booklet help make this reissue even more attractive, especially to blues fans who treasure the original.

Biografia

Nato(a): 30 luglio 1936, Lettsworth, LA

Genere: Blues

Anni di attività: '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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