October 25, 2010

BATTLES WON:

Album review: Buddy Guy, 'Living Proof' (Greg Kot, 10/24/10, Chicago Tribune)

Buddy Guy, no stranger to songs dealing with chilling realities, addresses his 74 years with a mixture of drama and bravado on “Living Proof” (Silvertone) aided by producer, drummer and co-songwriter Tom Hambridge. Loosely tracing Guy’s life story from his boyhood on a Louisiana sharecropping farm to his current status as a septuagenarian blues icon, the album is free of the guest stars that have occasionally diluted the artist’s past efforts. The exceptions are cameos by Carlos Santana and B.B. King, with whom Guy sings an affectionate, low-key duet.

The production is a bit slick, the Chicago-style blues vamps fairly predictable. But Guy is still a menacing guitarist. On “74 Years Young,” he starts out acoustic, almost muted, as the singer measures how much time he’s got left. Then, about 90 seconds in, he cuts loose on electric guitar, not so much a solo as a bazooka blast of clustered notes.



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Posted by Orrin Judd at October 25, 2010 6:25 AM
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