Buddy Guy & Junior Wells
Buddy Guy & Junior Wells Play the Blues
The classic Guy-Wells album remains Delmark’s 1966 Hoodoo Man Blues, which is credited to Wells. Runner-up is this relaxed, whiteboy- garnished 1972 set, now augmented with nine previously unissued new songs that fit the bill and four previously unissued alternate mixes that don’t. Guy gets major vocal space, top-billed because in 1972 his expansive guitar chops had some racial optimist at Atlantic seeing stardom. He’ll never be as distinctive a singer—Wells had a sound. But the older man gave Guy valuable laying back lessons, which he forgets to excellent effect whamming home Little Brother Montgomery’s “First Time I Met the Blues.”
The Best of the Black & White and Imperial Years
Basically, Walker invented electric blues guitar. Everybody from B.B. King on down gives him props. But because he came first, he was also transitional—his single-note solos have less brute color and sustain than those of jazz-hip King or roc
king Elmore James, and he croons rather than shouts, perhaps a little too subtly. Or perhaps not. The seminal-by-acclamation Black & White sides are seriously outnumbered here by the Imperials, which feature sax sections. But his warm sound is so consistent that only the specialist audience will care.