At the behest of Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells left Chicago for Miami's Criteria Studios (a Clapton haunt) to record this album in the fall of 1970. These are some of the most soul-influenced recordings of the duo's career. With Dr. John on piano, A.C. Reed on tenor sax, and Clapton himself on rhythm guitar, "A Man of Many Words," "T-Bone Shuffle," and "Messin' with the Kid" all have a distinct Southern-style R&B groove. Wells's reading of Sonny Boy Williamson's "My Baby She Left Me (She Left Me a Mule to Ride)" has a bit more of a typical 12-bar Chicago feel, while "Bad Bad Whiskey" features Clapton contributing some tasty bottleneck fills. With Tom Dowd assisting Clapton in the producer's chair, Play the Blues has a unique place in Guy's and Well's catalog, sounding as polished as they've ever sounded. Since only eight songs survived from the Miami sessions, Guy recorded two tracks with the J. Geils Band in 1972 to complete the program.