Friday, December 20, 2013

a man and the blues

Buddy Guy finally got a chance to play the blues his way when he made the move to a new label. He had spent a decade honing his craft in Chicago clubs and as a session man for Chess Records while putting out seminal singles like 'First Time I Met the Blues' and 'Stone Crazy'. Leonard Chess considered much of Guy's playing and style to be noise and tried to keep those tendencies in check, only releasing an album 'I Left My Blues in San Francisco' when Guy's contract was almost up. When it was, Guy signed a deal with Vanguard Records and was allowed more creative freedom.

Samuel Charters produced the sessions for 'A Man and the Blues' at Universal Studios in Chicago with Buddy Guy on solo guitar and vocals; Otis Spann on piano; Wayne Bennett on rhythm guitar; Jack Myers on bass; Donald Hankins, Aaron Corthen, and Bobby Fields on saxophones; and Lonny Taylor and Fred Below on drums. Guy considers: “That was me at my best then. I had the people it took to make a great blues record. With [Waters’ band pianist] Otis Spann, Fred Below and [Gibson six-string legend] Wayne Bennett… man, if you don’t play some good blues, you can’t play. And we had all been playing together in clubs and at Chess Records sessions for years. Wayne was one of the first guitar players I met in Chicago. The stuff Spann and I was doing, those little coordination things – whew! Spann… you don’t replace that kind of stuff. His shoes are still empty.”

"A Man and the Blues"

"I Can't Quit the Blues"

"Money (That's What I Want)"

"One Room Country Shack"

"Mary Had a Little Lamb"

"Jam on a Monday Morning"

 'A Man and the Blues' 
full album:

All songs written by Buddy Guy, except where noted.
1. "A Man and the Blues"   6:17
2. "I Can't Quit the Blues"   3:15
3. "Money (That's What I Want)"   Berry Gordy, Janie Bradford 2:49
4. "One Room Country Shack"   Mercy Dee Walton 5:35
5. "Mary Had a Little Lamb"   Traditional Lyrics, Music by Guy 2:27
6. "Just Playing With My Axe"   2:50
7. "Sweet Little Angel"   B.B. King 5:35
8. "Worry, Worry"   Pluma Davis, Jules Taub 6:14
9. "Jam on a Monday Morning" 2:50

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