Albums are often packaged as a concept a compilation a greatest hits collection or souvenir of a live show. Rarely does one come along that is a celebration of the artist; Buddy Guy Live at Legends is just that, a genuine Celebration of the man and the blues. Coming on the heels of the publishing of his autobiography “When I Left home, My Story,” and recent selection to receive this year’s Kennedy Center Honors alongside fellow rock gods Led Zeppelin; Live at Legends features the Guy’s last live recordings from his now-shuttered original Legends blues club in Chicago captured during his January residency there in 2010. The album features a number of Buddy Guy’s live favorites including the super charged funked out take on Willie Dixon’s “I just Want to Make Love to You,” that morphs into the Bobby Rush tune Chicken Head. Guy clues in the audience “I want to F#@K up all the songs tonight, so you just sit there and wait and listen, cause I might sing anything tonight.” He and his hot band then proceed to destroy the house with blazing dynamic renditions of “Mannish Boy,” in tribute to Muddy, the gospel soul plea for peace “Skin Deep,” and his signature song “Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues.” Guy then takes us to school in two amazing medleys: John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom” into Cream’s “Strange Brew;” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child” into Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love.” Every note from his ruthlessly raw guitar and sensuously ragged vocals are proof positive that Buddy Guy is the link between electric blues and modern hard rock.
In addition to the live recordings, Live at Legends includes 3 previously unreleased studio recordings from Guy’s critically acclaimed Living Proof album sessions: “Polka Dot Love,” a reference to his iconic spotted Stratocaster, “Coming for You,” and a deep blues classic from Muddy Waters “Country Boy.” 2012 will no doubt be reviewed as a banner year in the life of this man who came from the cotton fields to be honored at the White House. Live At Legends caps off a fine celebration of the true American treasure that is Buddy Guy.
watch the Kennedy Center Buddy Guy Tribute Here:
Rick J Bowen