10 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

At the behest of Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells left Chicago for Miami's Criteria Studios (a Clapton haunt) to record this album in the fall of 1970. These are some of the most soul-influenced recordings of the duo's career. With Dr. John on piano, A.C. Reed on tenor sax, and Clapton himself on rhythm guitar, "A Man of Many Words," "T-Bone Shuffle," and "Messin' with the Kid" all have a distinct Southern-style R&B groove. Wells's reading of Sonny Boy Williamson's "My Baby She Left Me (She Left Me a Mule to Ride)" has a bit more of a typical 12-bar Chicago feel, while "Bad Bad Whiskey" features Clapton contributing some tasty bottleneck fills. With Tom Dowd assisting Clapton in the producer's chair, Play the Blues has a unique place in Guy's and Well's catalog, sounding as polished as they've ever sounded. Since only eight songs survived from the Miami sessions, Guy recorded two tracks with the J. Geils Band in 1972 to complete the program.

EDITORS’ NOTES

At the behest of Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells left Chicago for Miami's Criteria Studios (a Clapton haunt) to record this album in the fall of 1970. These are some of the most soul-influenced recordings of the duo's career. With Dr. John on piano, A.C. Reed on tenor sax, and Clapton himself on rhythm guitar, "A Man of Many Words," "T-Bone Shuffle," and "Messin' with the Kid" all have a distinct Southern-style R&B groove. Wells's reading of Sonny Boy Williamson's "My Baby She Left Me (She Left Me a Mule to Ride)" has a bit more of a typical 12-bar Chicago feel, while "Bad Bad Whiskey" features Clapton contributing some tasty bottleneck fills. With Tom Dowd assisting Clapton in the producer's chair, Play the Blues has a unique place in Guy's and Well's catalog, sounding as polished as they've ever sounded. Since only eight songs survived from the Miami sessions, Guy recorded two tracks with the J. Geils Band in 1972 to complete the program.

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About Buddy Guy & Junior Wells

Keith Richards called him the godfather. Eric Clapton likened his impact to Elvis’. And Hendrix reportedly said that heaven was lying at his feet while listening to him play. But Buddy Guy tends to weigh himself a little more modestly: “Music makes people happy,” he said. “And that’s why I go on doing it.” The Louisiana-born guitarist got his footing as a session man with Chicago’s Chess Records. In the years to follow, he synthesized the traditions of Delta blues with a fierce, theatrically modern style, embracing volume and distortion before they were vernacular, sometimes playing with his teeth and feet and using an extra-long cable to wander through the crowd and onto the street, soloing the whole way. As beloved as he is as a player, Guy also serves as an ambassadorial figure, bridging the gap between his generation of collaborators—which includes B.B. King and Junior Wells—and later ones, working first with British blues acolytes like Jeff Beck and The Rolling Stones, then with artists like John Mayer. A sharp wit, Guy sums up his trajectory: “When I went to Chicago, I'll put it like this: I was looking for a dime and I found a quarter.”

HOMETOWN
Lettsworth, LA
GENRE
Blues
BORN
July 30, 1936

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