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Monday, 19 August 2013 09:23

Charting the Music: Buddy Guy, 'Rhythm and Blues'

Charting the Music: Buddy Guy, 'Rhythm and Blues' Paul Natkin
Written by Travis Dettmann
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For those who wonder if "Rhythm and Blues" marks the closure of the Chicago blues legend's career, the word "retirement" isn't even in Buddy Guy's vocabulary.

Buddy Guy's 27th studio release contains two CDs full of first-time collaborations and uncanny six-string power. Blues amateurs and experts alike can seek refuge in "Rhythm and Blues," where all are welcome to relax and have a good time.

88.1 KDHX Chart Position: #2 Americana for the week of August 6, 2013.

Record label, release date and producer: RCA Records released "Rhythm and Blues" on July 30, 2013; it was produced by Tom Hambridge.

Can be heard on: Sound Salvation with Steve Pick, Soul Selector with Papa Ray and Chicken Shack Alley with Bruce.

RIYL: Albert King, Muddy Waters and Otis Rush.

Hometown: Lettsworth, La.

Standout tracks: The brief autobiographical track "Best in Town" is enough to rope in any skeptical listener from start to finish. Buddy Guy spills the secrets to his emotionally driven guitar talent in "I Go By Feel." Buddy is "Never Gonna Change," so gratefully accept a healthy dose of superb slide guitar.

About the artist: "Chicago blues sound" pioneer George "Buddy" Guy, was born on July 30, 1936. The year 1957 brought about his historic move to Chicago, where he became a session guitarist for Chess Records, recording with Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor and Howlin' Wolf. Many years, albums and awards later, Buddy Guy is still recording and performing with no hint at calling it quits. If you still have no respect, he is credited with influencing legendary guitarists Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton.

This producer: Buffalo, N.Y. native Tom Hambridge knows a thing or two about composing and producing Grammy Award-winning efforts. After receiving his degree in Professional Music, he filled the position as lead vocalist and drummer for Telecaster pioneer Roy Buchanan for three years. He began his artistic relationship with Buddy Guy on the Grammy winning 2008 release "Skin Deep" as a writer and producer.

This label: Founded in New York by Emile Berliner and Eldridge R. Johnson, RCA Records, the second oldest US record company, dates back to 1901. In 1931, they were the first to make 33 1/3 rpm vinyl available to the general population. The Sony BMG merger in 2004 brought rivals RCA and Columbia Records under the same ownership. RCA has released works by Kenny Rogers, Foo Fighters and Justin Timberlake.

About the guests: Detroit's Bullgod, Kid Rock, signed with Atlantic Records in 1998, gaining Billboard and MTV coverage. No longer apart of the rap-rock genre, he has since moved onto Country and Blues territory and can be heard on "Messin' With the Kid." The Down Under Country star, Keith Urban, released his breakthrough effort, "Keith Urban," via Capitol Records, which achieved 4 Billboard Country singles. A marriage to Nicole Kidman and two children later, Urban is present on the country-tinged "One Day Away."

Play it while: Hot rodding to a destination unknown.

Awards and accolades: Buddy Guy has been the recipient of six Grammy Awards; his first album to receive a Grammy was 1991's "Damn Right, I've Got the Blues." In 2003, he received the National Medal of Arts from former President George W. Bush. He surpassed all by acquiring 28 Blues Music Awards, aka the W.C. Handy Awards, the most given to any other artist. In 2005, B.B. King and Eric Clapton welcomed Guy into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

What the critics say: "Every time Buddy Guy steps out, even if he's just doing a quick ad-lib between lines, he delivers something profound. That guitar wisdom, dispensed so casually, is the element no producer or record executive can order up. Guy is among the last living links to Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and other towering figures of the blues. And if you can't hear that in the slickness of the arrangements or the glitter from the celebrity guests, just be patient. The next guitar solo will come along in a minute or two, and then all that history will be inescapable." Tom Moon, NPR.

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