Buddy Guy – Slippin´ In (1994)

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.

Tracklist

1.  “I Smell Trouble”  (Written-By – D. Robey) – 3:12
2.  “Please Don’t Drive Me Away”  (Written-By – C. Brown, J. Ervin) – 3:55
3.  “7-11”  (Written-By – F. Robinson) – 6:57
4.  “Shame, Shame, Shame”  (Written-By – J. Reed) – 3:29
5.  “Love Her With A Feeling”  (Written-By – L. Fulson) – 4:27
6.  “Little Dab-A-Doo”  (Written-By – B. Guy) – 5:19
7.  “Someone Else Is Steppin’ In (Slippin’ Out, Slippin’ In)”  (Written-By – D. LaSalle) – 4:26
8.  “Trouble Blues”  (Written-By – C. Brown) – 3:07
9.  “Man Of Many Words”  (Written-By – B. Guy) – 3:02
10.  “Don’t Tell Me About The Blues”  (Written By – J. Quinn) – 6:16
11.  “Cities Need Help”  (Written-By – B. Guy) – 5:29

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes
Release Date: October 25, 1994
Recorded at Arlyn Studio and at Chicago Recording Company.
Genre: Blues
Styles: Chicago Blues
Duration: 49:39

Label – Silvertone Records

Buddy Guy – Blues Singer (2003)

GeorgeBuddyGuy (born July 30, 1936) is an American blues guitarist and singer. He is an exponent of Chicago blues and has influenced guitarists including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, John Mayer and Stevie Ray Vaughan. In the 1960s, Guy played with Muddy Waters as a house guitarist at Chess Records and began a musical partnership with the harmonica player Junior Wells.

Blues Singer is the 12th studio album by Buddy Guy released in 2003 through Silvertone Records. Arriving after the unexpected blast of raw energy that was 2001’s Sweet Tea, 2003’s Blues Singer could idealistically be seen as the acoustic flip side of that high-voltage, raw electric blues. Like Sweet Tea, Blues Singer is supposed to exist deep down within the Delta blues tradition, only finding Buddy Guy armed with an acoustic guitar and the occasional minimal accompaniment; it’s even recorded at the same Mississippi studio that gave its name to the 2001 platter and is helmed by the same producer, Dennis Herring. If only it were that simple! Instead of being an extension or a mirror image of its predecessor, this record is a sleepy comedown from an exhilarating peak. Where Sweet Tea was filled with unpredictable song choices, this plays it safe, hauling out such familiar items as “Hard Time Killing Floor,” “Crawlin’ Kingsnake,” “I Love the Life I Live,” and “Sally Mae.” And while this retains Jimbo Mathus on guitar, when other musicians pop up, it’s not the lively Fat Possum crew, it’s studio pros like Jim Keltner, or guest shots by superstars Eric Clapton and B.B. King. While this does afford listeners the rare opportunity to hear B.B. on acoustic, it gives the affair the audience-pleasing veneer that weighed down his mid-’90s efforts. Plus, when it comes right down to it, Guy simply is off on this record, with lazy, mannered vocals and by the book guitar. Despite a few good acoustic duet sessions with Junior Wells, acoustic blues is not really Guy‘s forte, and the highly disappointing Blues Singer illustrates exactly why. 

The album is all acoustic and dedicated to John Lee Hooker with the line, “In Memory of John Lee Hooker. You are missed.”

Guy was ranked 30th in Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time

Tracklist

1. “Hard Time Killing Floor”  (Nehemiah Curtis “Skip” James) – 2:49
2. “Crawling King Snake”  (John Lee Hooker/Bernard Bosman) – 5:17
3. “Lucy Mae Blues”  (Frankie Lee Sims) – 3:34
4. “Can’t See Baby”  (Jack Nelson Owens) – 4:05
5. “I Love the Life I Live”  (Willie Dixon) – 2:47
6. “Louise McGhee”  (Son House) – 5:24
7. “Moanin’ and Groanin'”  (Johnny Shines) – 3:30
8. “Black Cat Blues”  (John Lee Hooker) – 4:30
9. “Bad Life Blues”  (Andrew Hogg/Joe Josen) – 3:45
10. “Sally Mae”  (John Lee Hooker) – 4:25
11. “Anna Lee”   (Robert “Nighthawk” McCullom) – 4:15
12. “Lonesome Home Blues”   (Willie Borum) – 5:00

Musicians

Production

Notes
Released: 2003
Recorded: Sweet Tea Recording Studio, Oxford, Mississippi
Genre: Blues
Length: 49:21

Label – Silvertone Records