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Buddy's Blues (Chess 50th Anniversary Collection) ()

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As part of MCA's Chess Records 50th Anniversary series, Buddy's Blues sweats Guy's multi-disc retrospective, The Complete Chess Studio Recordings down to a scintillating 15-track package and comes up with a bare-bones winner. There are loads of great guitar on classics like "First Time I Met the Blues," "Let Me Love You Baby," "Pretty Baby," "My Time After Awhile," "Stone Crazy," and Guy's voice is at its whiplash exuberant best. Unexpected bonuses pop up in the comp's kickoff track, a full-length version of "Worried Mind," issued here without the overdubbed applause and crowd noises that accompanied its original release on Folk Festival of the Blues (see Muddy Waters' entry). Also noteworthy is Junior Wells' appearance on chromatic harp on "Ten Years Ago," and Guy's stellar guitar behind Lacy Gibson's vocal on a Buddy Guy original, "My Love Is Real." And special note must also be made of the spacious stereo mixes used on this compilation, making these 30-year-old-plus tracks shine like diamonds coming off the laser beam. We also experience all the stylistic turns toward a kinship with the burgeoning soul and rock scenes that Guy would make toward the end of his Chess tenure, along with the smoking slow burners that are his trademark, some of which clock in at four to six minutes here. With his very best tracks compiled on one disc, and with beautiful transfers of them to enhance the listening experience, this should be one of your very first stops in absorbing the sides that made Buddy Guy's reputation among blues fans and guitar aficionados the world over. ~ Cub Koda, Rovi Hide synopsis

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