On a recent edition of classic Later with Jools Holland I was transfixed by the energy and vigour of Buddy Guy's performance of His awesome Damn Right I've got the blues from his 1991 album of the same name, I was already a fan of his music but didnt know all that much about his music. After a few minutes looking around on amazon I bought three of his cds, Skin Deep, Damn right I've got the blues and of course this one Bring Em In from 2005.
**Bring Em In**
Bring 'Em In features collaborations with various artists, the artists who feature are Carlos Santana (guitar), Tracy Chapman (vocals), John Mayer (guitar), Anthony Hamilton (vocals), Robert Randolph (pedal steel), and Keith Richards (guitar). The album features mostly covers of classic blues tracks but there is one Buddy Guy original which is the hugely impressive What Kind of woman is this.
1.) Now You're Gone
This track is a cover of a classic Curtis Mayfield track and starts with an ear catching guitar break which leads into the gut wrenching blues melody. In this version Buddy Guy manages to take a classic song and completely reinvent it to make it sound so original. An awesome cover version. His vocals and guitar playing are both awesome.
2.) Ninety Nine and one half
This is probably the least well known of the classic tracks on this album but this is a fine reworking of Wilson Picketts track. On this track Buddy's guitar playing is a lot like BB King but still keeping his own style. Buddy's authorative vocals are a pleasure to listen to and also have elements of another blues and soul great Solomon Burke.
3.) What Kinda woman Is this
Now this is the only original song penned by Buddy Guy on Bring 'Em In and In my opinion it is one of the best on the album, This melodic blues track moves along with guitar licks with such passion and vigour that you are transfixed by it all. Everything about this track is outstanding and needs to be heard.
4.) Somebody's been sleeping in my bed
A track that gives goosebumps and shivers down the spine with the blues melody. The guitar work is superb and his vocals are strong and incredibly emotive. The long musical intro led by his guitar is superb and then his vocals kick in and you think how can somebody be so good at both singing and guitar playing.
5.) I Put a spell on you
A fantastic cover of Screaming Jay Hawkins original, this isnt as good as the version from David Gilmour and Mica Paris but it is still an amazing collaboration with Carlos Santana. Both guitarists are on fine form here.
6.) On A Saturday Night
Probably the weakest track on the album even though it is a great version this doesnt have the same kick as the other tracks on the album, Still superb guitar work but just not the same spark as some of the other more emotive tracks. Probably due to the lesser original.
7.) Ain't No Sunshine
This is an amazing cover of the fantastic Bill Withers, This track pulls you in with the emotive vocals and gentle musical setting until the awesome guitar work completes the overall joy of the track, A fantastic collaboration with Tracy Chapman who adds a nice touch with her distinctive vocals and Keb Mo on guitar.
8.) I've got dreams to remember
On this track Buddy Guy and John Mayer recreate the passion of Otis Reddings fantastic track. The addition of John Mayer works really well and this is one of the best covers on this album because of the superb way they work together on this track.
9.) Lay Lady Lay
This is a fantastic reworking of Bob Dylan's Original, Anthony Hamilton is the guest on this track and does a good job. This track is the most R&B on the album and should bring Buddy Guy to a whole new audience which can only be a good thing.
10.) Cheaper to keep her/(Blues in the night)
This is a cover of Jonnie Taylor's original written by Arlen, Mercer and Rice. This tells the story of a divorce settlement where it would work out cheaper to keep her. A great reworking of this track which is another track which might not be too well known.
11.) Cut You Loose
This track was written by Mel London and was performed by Ricky Allen. As with the previous track and ninety nine and one half this is a lesser known track but don't let that put you off as this cover version is nothing short of mesmerising. The guitar work is awesome and just shows what a player he is.
12.) Price You Gotta pay
This is a cover of Keb Mo's track, A fantastic shuffling blues track in which Buddy shows elements of Solomon Burke's soul voice and his own fantastic blues vocal. The backing vocals work really well on this outstanding track which has a very fast flowing melody.
13.) Do Your thing
Even if you didnt know that the original version was by Isaac Hayes you would be able to instantly tell by the groove of this track. A sexy soulful seductive blues track which is so seductive and superb. The guitar work and vocals are both superb.
Buddy Guy is one of the finest guitarists of all time as he plays with such verve, passion, vigour and also such skill. He can sing superbly aswell which is another feather in his cap, And boy can he sing. He is the complete blues package and still going strong into his seventies as his latest album Skin Deep out this year shows. Some fantastic collaborations with John Mayer, Tracy Chapman, Anthony Hamilton and Keb Mo. All I can say is if you like the Blues then get this album.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Now You?re Gone
2 Ninety Nine and ½
3 What Kinda Woman Is This
4 Somebody?s Been Sleeping In My Bed
5 I Put A Spell On You (featuring Carlos Santana)
6 On A Saturday Night
7 Ain?t No Sunshine (featuring Tracy Chapman)
8 I?ve Got Dreams To Remember (featuring John Mayer)
9 Lay Lady Lay (featuring Anthony Hamilton)
10 Cheaper To Keep Her / Blues In The Night
11 Cut You Loose
12 The Price You?ve Gotta Pay (featuring Keith Richards)
13 Do Your Thing