Buddy’s Baddest: The Best of Buddy Guy
To have a “best of” Buddy Guy and not include any stuff from his work on Chess and Vanguard is like having a best of gray flannel CD. Guy’s “rebirth” on Silvertone since the early ’90s surely made the longtime bluesman some cash, but it’s modern blues at it’s most disappointing. Buddy was brilliant backing up Big Mama Thornton — the version of “Hound Dog” they cut can stop your heart. His work with Junior Wells is a textbook of the blues, and you can go on and on about his guitar style, a sharp, stinging tone that cuts to the bone.
This CD, which features 3 unreleased cuts, pales in comparison. The version of “Five Long Years” is a weak rehash of a song he did with organist Eddie Boyd — the original version cooked like a pot of Brunswick stew, this one simmers like left over Tuna Helper. Guest stars abound — Jeff Beck stomps on “Mustang Sally” and Bonnie Raitt, Ian McLagan (Faces), and Ritchie Hayward (Little Feat) show up, but to no avail. This record is best heard not on a CD player, but a phone — because this is dialing it in at it’s worst.
Silvertone Records, 137-139 W. 25th Street, New York, NY 10001-7200