Album:Playlist: The Very Best Of Buddy Guy
Of course today Buddy Guy is one of the all time blues greats. But there were times especially in the 80s when he couldn't seem to get a decent record deal. This is about his 90s comeback after he signed with Silvertone Records. And Guy still records for Silvertone. Of course Guy recorded for Chess Records in the 60s. But there were so many blues legends recording for Chess, Guy always seemed to take a back seat to those guys. So in the mid-60s, he formed a group with harmonica legend Junior Wells and they recorded classic albums for Delmark. But by the end of the 70s, Guy wasn't working with Wells anymore and he didn't have a record deal. He continued to tour in the 80s and record occasionally for labels like Alligator, Blind Pig and JSP. And he even opened his own Chicago club Buddy Guy's Legends. But after a 1991 appearance with Eric Clapton at Royal Albert Hall in London, Guy signed with Silvertone and his 1991 album Damn Right, I've Got The Blues was certified Gold and won a Grammy. Special guests included Clapton, Jeff Beck and Mark Knopfler. His career revival continued through the 90s including the 1998 album Heavy Love. Teen blues guitarist Jonny Lang was a big deal at the time. And his producer David Z (David Rivkin, brother of Prince's drummer Bobby Z) also produced Heavy Love. Some might think that Midnight Train must be an old blues song. But it was written by Jon Tiven and Roger Reale of The Jon Tiven Group from Branford, CT. David Z heard the song when Reale, a schoolteacher in his real life, pitched it to Paul Rogers. David Z brought it to Guy and Guy and Lang make it sound like a blues standard. Guy told Reale that he really identified with the song. it reminded him of his days struggling to make ends meet in Chicago. Guitarist Steve Cropper also guested on Heavy Love and Richie Hayward of Little Feat played drums on the album. Heavy Love is available as a budget CD. But I suggest this budget comp which is a very good intro to Guy's Silvertone recordings. Silvertone was taken over by Jive Records in 1998 and it's now part of Sony so Guy currently records for RCA. His new CD Born To Play Guitar will be released July 31, 2015. Special guests include Van Morrison, Joss Stone, Billy Gibbons and Kim Wilson. Of course Guy is on tour so you should see him if he's coming your way. Here's Buddy Guy featuring Jonny Lang performing Midnight Train on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno 1998.