ALBUM REVIEW: Buddy Guy, Rhythm and Blues

Mr. Guy has done anything but slow down. Although his legacy is set, he has already influenced artists like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. He has worked with some of the most legendary artists, including many at the early Chess Record label, Muddy Waters, and Jeff Beck. He is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has won 6 Grammys.

Guy’s guitar influences are endless and he said in a recent concert in Concho, Oklahoma that he still has tons to learn. His stage shows possess some crazy guitar antics. He can hold out a note on the electric for as long as you can imagine, play with his elbow, and even a drumstick.

And to think that this 76-year-old, legendary artist is still performing across the country and making records is astounding, but as long as the blues continue to make him happy, he is going to be here.

RCA Records
RCA Records

Guy’s 2013 release doesn’t fall short. It is entitled Rhythm and Blues. On vinyl, it is a double LP set with one LP entitled “Rhythm” and the second “Blues.” This album shows the interworking of what I now consider two different genres that have been intricately worked together into a masterpiece. This album ought to school many of today’s artists who claim this genre.

The first 11 songs on this album are “Rhythm.” These songs have taught me what “Rhythm” music is. Rhythm music gives you that dance, boogie, funky sensation. You know when that one shoulder that begins to compulsively move to the beat until it’s infiltrated your whole body? That feeling.

Almost every song is a standout on this album, but for the Rhythm section “Best in Town,” “What’s Up With That Woman,” “What You Going to Do About Me (Duet with Beth Hart)”, and “The Devils Daughter” stand out for me.

The next 10 songs are dubbed “Blues.” Although to the naysayer’s ear they may not hear a clear definition, but Blues music is distinctly different. Picture rhythm as a light bulb, now damp a sheer piece of blue fabric on top of it and that’s blues. It still has the same foundation, it’s still the light bulb; just it now has a new shade.

Blues doesn’t quite give you that compulsive foot tap. It just seems to make me want to close my eyes and pursue a rhythmic sway. The content is also slightly different. It’s about life and feeling.

My favorite Blues tracks on this album include “Meet Me in Chicago,” “Evil Twin (With Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and Brad Whitford),” “All That Makes Me Happy is the Blues,” and Guys autobiographical “My Mama Loved Me” and “I Came Up Hard.”


Considering newer waves of music, there really isn’t true rhythm and blues anymore.  Many of the artists that once made this genre have passed away or have simply retired. The idea that what they built is not being honored. They would never dream of shaking their Laffy Taffy, being a Flintstone and making your bedrock, or spinning their heads right round.

According to Guy’s Facebook, when Muddy Waters was passing away, Buddy wanted to run down and see him, but Waters said no.  He simply told Guy to “keep the damn blues alive.”

Buddy Guy has done just that with this new album and damned if they think so or damned if they don’t, this is true R&B.

Album Reviews Rhythm and Blues

Gabe Crawford View All →

Spiritual. Thinker. Music fanatic. Vinyl enthusiast.

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