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If you are a regular reader of my music reviews then you will probably know that I am quite a fan of Blues legend Buddy Guy and continuing my plan to review all albums I own from some of my favourite artists I decided to add another couple of albums to my requests on dooyoo. So Following on from my review of Buddy Guy's 2001 album Sweet Tea I have decided to review another of his albums which I requested to review. This album is his follow up to Sweet Tea.
Released in 2003 as the follow up to Sweet Tea, Blues Singer moves in a different direction than Sweet Tea whilst still keeping everything that Buddy Guy is all about. The album features covers of songs by Skip James, John Lee Hooker, Son House and Johnny Shines and Features a collaboration with Eric Clapton and BB King on Crawlin' Kingsnake and Clapton also features on Lucy Mae Blues. The album was released on the well renowned Blues record label Silvertone and was produced by Dennis Herring.
1.) Hard Time Killing Floor
This cover of the Skip James track opens the album, the gentle tones of Buddy's acoustic guitar combine well with his spine tingling voice to create a very intimate acoustic recording which has the normal Buddy Guy emotion in spades despite the rather relaxed feel.
2.) Crawlin' Kingsnake
This track brings together three incredible musicians, Eric Clapton, BB King and of course Buddy Guy. I first heard Buddy Guy on Later with Jools Holland performing this track. This track drips with emotion and shows elements of Robert Johnson. This track proves without a shadow of a doubt that Buddy's not just an electric wizard.
3.) Lucy Mae Blues
This track features Eric Clapton and the two legends work superbly well with each guitar sounding understated yet full of emotion. Great guitar work from both. Buddy does not let his vocals loose on this track like he can do but the guitar is enough to make this track very memorable.
4.) Can't See Baby
This is a highly emotive track with Buddy in fine voice. His voice drips with emotion and the gentle guitar which accompanies his voice adds a superb yet subtle touch. This is one of the best tracks on the album and one that proves that he can do much more than just the barnstorming electric stuff.
5.) I Live The Life I Live
This track features more instrumentation than most of the album and is another very emotive track which finds the perfect balance between his vocals and the guitar. This is one of the more old fashioned blues tracks on the album but does not suffer at all.
6.) Louise McGhee
This is a cover of the well known Son House track, It opens with some guitar tones which start off like Robert Johnson and then blend into Buddy's style. Another fine track with Buddy's voice dripping with all the emotion a blues song should. A fine fine version.
7.) Moanin' and Groanin'
This is a cover of Johnny Shines who before this album I admit I had never heard of before, Having not heard the original I cannot comment on it so I will just say that this is a very fine version on it's own merit. A very flowing acoustic blues track.
8.) Black Cat Blues
No this is not a blues track about life as a Sunderland fan but A superb track which is one of the best showcases on the album for Buddy's guitar ability. He makes it sound like an electric guitar in some parts of this track. Up there with the best on the album for sure.
9.) Bad Life Blues
This track is about when things are all going wrong for you, A true blues track which is performed with emotion and sincerity. Buddy's voice is something to behold when it's let loose and he hints at his best vocals here and this is a superbly performed track all round. Brilliant.
10.) Sally Mae
John Lee Hooker was a very influential performer for Buddy Guy and this cover of this Hooker track has the great man's hands all over it. Buddy manages a rare thing on this track, He makes the song better with his stamp on it. Not many Blues artists can claim that they improve a John Lee Hooker song.
11.) Anna Lee
This is a fantastic track which is one of the tracks which reminds me a little of Buddy's Sweet Tea album from two years previously. This is basically a stripped down acoustic slant on the feel of Sweet Tea and works a treat. A great track.
12.) Lonesome Home Blues
This is a fantastic track to end the album with, This is a very flowing track with some great guitar licks and Buddy's voice is on fine form, This combination makes the song a fine ending to Blues Singer and is up there with the best on the album.
Buddy Guy's Blues Singer is without a doubt a great album but what makes it so? Well for starters Buddy's Voice is as expressive and strong as ever and the stripped down acoustic feel makes for a very interesting contrast to the all out attack of Sweet Tea. This album shows that he can still do the acoustic stuff as well as ever.
Whilst this is a phenomenal album, the acoustic nature of the the album may put off some fans who are used to Buddy Guy's electric guitar prowess. I love this album but I have to say that I prefer Sweet Tea just that little bit more but Blues Singer really should be one album to check out.
Having added a new section to my review I am left to sum up my thoughts on Buddy Guy's Blues Singer. This album may not be as exciting as Sweet Tea or much of Buddy's electric stuff but it is not lacking in emotion and quality. If you like Buddy Guy's other stuff then You would be a fool to miss this album.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Hard Time Killing Floor
2 Crawlin' Kingsnake
3 Lucy Mae Blues
4 Can't See Baby
5 I Love The Life I Live
6 Louise McGhee
7 Moanin' and Groanin'
8 Black Cat Blues
9 Bad Life Blues
10 Sally Mae
11 Anna Lee
12 Lonesome Home Blues