Rhythm & Blues
Buddy Guy isn’t just an old-school bluesman; he’s an old-school showman. So if his albums seem a bit brighter and more conceptual than those by his contemporaries, it’s because Guy is every bit as much a goodwill ambassador to the music as he is a practitioner. This results in tracks that sizzle with a modern-era patina and guests such as Kid Rock, three-fifths of Aerosmith, Gary Clark Jr., Keith Urban, and Beth Hart. This 2013 issue is divided into two halves. The first is “Rhythm"; the second is “Blues.” But that's more a statement of purpose than anything listeners need to concern themselves with. Fact is, these tracks rock harder and louder than ever. Whether this is a good thing rests with your devotion to the “pure” Chicago-styled blues of the '50s and how much you enjoy hearing Steven Tyler going mouth to mouth on “Evil Twin.” (For the record, Tyler sounds more road-weary and worn than Guy!) “One Day Away” with Urban catches a sleek groove; it could bring Guy to commercial radio and to country fans, who'd surely admire the man’s soul.