Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Buddy Guy

  • Stone Crazy! [Alligator, 1981] B+
  • Damn Right I've Got the Blues [Silvertone, 1991] Neither
  • My Time After Awhile [Vanguard, 1992] Neither
  • Feels Like Rain [Silvertone, 1993] Choice Cuts
  • Slippin' In [Silvertone, 1994] *
  • Heavy Love [Silvertone, 1998] ***
  • Sweet Tea [Silvertone, 2001] A-
  • Blues Singer [Silvertone, 2003] *
  • Bring 'Em In [Silvertone, 2005] ***
  • Born to Play Guitar [Silvertone, 2015] **

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Stone Crazy! [Alligator, 1981]
With or without Junior Wells, Guy hasn't put so much guitar on an album since A Man and the Blues in 1967, and if anything this is wilder and more jagged. Which is great if you like your blues straight, without Otis Spann stitching a groove. I prefer mine on the rock. B+

Damn Right I've Got the Blues [Silvertone, 1991] Neither

My Time After Awhile [Vanguard, 1992] Neither

Feels Like Rain [Silvertone, 1993]
"Country Boy" Choice Cuts

Slippin' In [Silvertone, 1994]
more voice, more soul, plenty guitar, less classic (and shopworn) songs ("Love Her With a Feeling," "Little Dab-a-Doo") *

Heavy Love [Silvertone, 1998]
past 60 and feeling it, he's relaxing more and feeling that too ("Midnight Train," "Did Somebody Make a Fool Out of You") ***

Sweet Tea [Silvertone, 2001]
Dragged bitching and moaning down to Fat Possum, Mississippi, to sing a sheaf of nonhits written by rubes in overalls he'd never heard of, the great totem of Chicago blues gets large on the pop process in which a producer induces an artist with more talent than concept to make a good album. That Dennis Herring boasts among his credits Counting Crows and Jars of Clay only proves George Martin's Law: You can lead a horse with no name to the mic, but you can't hum a few bars of "Love Me Do" and expect him to sing it for you. And since this producer also collects antique amplifiers, not only did he introduce his new property to the untapped songbook of Junior Kimbrough et al., he hooked the property's snazzy guitar to machines so raunchy they make his old Chess stuff sound like Motown. Adding a showman's drama to the kind of material that normally requires a porch or roadhouse, he created a landmark of neoprimitivism. May it outsell every soul record he's ever made soon enough for him to try it again. A-

Blues Singer [Silvertone, 2003]
still more real folk blues--no, more than that even ("Moanin' and Groanin'," "Lucy Mae Blues") *

Bring 'Em In [Silvertone, 2005]
Blues subpatriarch claims soul as his dominion ("I Put a Spell on You," "Ninety Nine and One Half"). ***

Born to Play Guitar [Silvertone, 2015]
At 79, last Chicago blues master standing nabs cameos, nails songs by his Berklee-trained drummer, survives the Muscle Shoals Horns, and claims his birthright yet again ("Come Back Muddy," "Kiss Me Quick") **

See Also