A lot of very good blues from a couple of masters, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, caught live in a small club. George "Buddy" Guy (born July 30, 1936) is an American blues guitarist and singer. Known as an inspiration to Jimi Hendrix, Angus Young, Eric Clapton, Ace Frehley, Jimmy Page, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and many other guitarists, Guy is considered an important exponent of Chicago blues. He is the father of female rapper Shawnna and also has a son, Michael, known as hip-hop/rap producer IceDrake. He is the older brother of late blues guitarist Phil Guy.
As part of MCA's Chess Records 50th Anniversary series, Buddy's Blues sweats Guy's multi-disc retrospective, The Complete Chess Studio Recordings down to a scintillating 15-track package and comes up with a bare-bones winner. There are loads of great guitar on classics like "First Time I Met the Blues," "Let Me Love You Baby," "Pretty Baby," "My Time After Awhile," "Stone Crazy," and Guy's voice is at its whiplash exuberant best. Unexpected bonuses pop up in the comp's kickoff track, a full-length version of "Worried Mind," issued here without the overdubbed applause and crowd noises that accompanied its original release on Folk Festival of the Blues (see Muddy Waters' entry)…
Recorded at two separate gigs in January 1975 but not issued until 2006, this captures Junior Wells on-stage at Theresa's, one of the most esteemed Chicago blues clubs. It's a little rawer than most live albums; the sound is good, and Wells is in good form, but his band is a little rough (and, particularly on the tracks with guitarist Sammy Lawhorn, a little off-key). But the flaws really aren't too significant, as this is a pretty enjoyable set of electric Chicago blues in its unadulterated vintage form. Wells offers his trademark exuberant blues with touches of rock, soul, and funk, performing a few of his most popular tunes ("Messin' with the Kid," "Snatch It Back and Hold It") and a bunch of classic covers that are more identified with other performers (Slim Harpo's "Scratch My Back," Big Bill Broonzy's "Key to the Highway," St. Louis Jimmy Oden's "Goin' Down Slow," Little Walter's "Juke," Tampa Red's "Love Her with a Feeling," and "Help the Poor," the last popularized by B.B. King).
The follow up to Hoodoo Man Blues (DMK 612), this classic Chicago blues album is now re-issued in an expanded digipak Deluxe Edition containing unissued performances and a 16-page booklet with many never-before-seen photos. The Godfather of Blues, Junior Wells is accompanied by Buddy Guy and Louis Myers, guitar; Otis Spann, piano; Earnest Johnson, bass; Fred below, drums. Recorded December 30, 1969 and January 8, 1970, the five extra performances include Rock Me Baby, an alternate take of I Could Have Had Religion, Junior's In Charge, an eight-minute improvisational studio jam with lots of Otis Spann, and more, 73 minutes. With new notes by producer Bob Koester. A must for blues lovers.
Recorded on Halloween night in 1979, this pairs up Wells and Guy in a fashion that hasn't been heard since Hoodoo Man Blues, their first, and best collaboration. Solid backing by the Philip Guy band (Buddy's brother) makes this album a rare treat.
Hoodoo Man Blues is one of the truly classic blues albums of the 1960s, and one of the first to fully document, in the superior acoustics of a recording studio, the smoky ambience of a night at a West Side nightspot. Junior Wells just set up with his usual cohorts – guitarist Buddy Guy, bassist Jack Myers, and drummer Billy Warren – and proceeded to blow up a storm, bringing an immediacy to "Snatch It Back and Hold It," "You Don't Love Me, Baby," "Chitlins con Carne," and the rest of the tracks that is absolutely mesmerizing. Widely regarded as one of Wells' finest achievements, it also became Delmark's best-selling release of all time.