Skin Deep - Buddy Guy album review

Skin Deep - Buddy Guy album review
Buddy Guy’s latest effort -Skin Deep- is easily his best album since Damn Right I Got the Blues - and what a meaty, tasty solid blues morsel this is. What Skin Deep lacks in risk taking is more than made up for with Guy’s sheer guitar prowess, his undeniable kick-bottom talent and a full-on passion for the music which is present on every track. Although many critics have noted that the only real Buddy Guy is the one that you get to see playing live Skin Deep proves that this just ain’t so. It’s a very good overview, captures Buddy’s live energy and it’s also a great introduction to the twelve bars for those who are just approaching the blues altar …

Key Tracks:

Best Damn Fool starts the whole thing off in the kind of swaggering, blues-sexual bravado that fans have come to expect from Buddy Guy. The lyrics are full of “I’m the one man you won’t forget” and “Nobody’ll love you like I do” or my personal fav “I can make an old woman young.” Regardless of the validity of these intriguing promises, it is hard to believe that Guy is actually 72 years old now! He still plays with the speed and unleashed power of a locomotive and his voice is steady and passionate. Naturally, Guy is all over the place with his usual solo spots but they’re superb – never predictable – and certainly never too long or boring. Be careful not to scorch your ear buds if you play it loud …

Buddy’s vocal dexterity shines on Too Many Tears which is more of a ballad in which he duets with Susan Tedeschi. An unexpected and really inspired addition to this piece which is evident from the opening notes is the fact that Buddy is playing a (Jerry Jones custom) sitar! Ravi Shankar never sounded like this baby – Buddy achieves a slick and chunky, fuzzed out throb – a must hear.

Out In the Woods is a swamp-inspired gator tale which starts out like a slow, menacing old school blues tune but ultimately gets treated to a Buddy Guy defibrillation – in this case, via a Gibson custom 335. Fellow guitarist Robert Randolph supplies excellent support with his steel guitar and the result is one of my favourite tracks on the album. Blistering, smoldering, red-hot, incendiary – it’s all here. Stand well back, my friends …
Fav lyrics: “Boogieman went runnin’ when he heard me coming. Look out, Mr.Boogieman …”

Who’s Gonna Fill those Shoes? is an rampant blues anthem asking this all important question. Buddy is joined by the freakishly talented guitar prodigy Quinn Sullivan on this one – who may well be the solution to this blues-shoes issue – since he is only a tender nine years of age (yes – nine!) and can already effortlessly support, almost surpass Buddy on every bend. (This begs the question – what will he be doing when he’s sixteen!?) Quinn’s playing is also astoundingly intuitive. Check them out together on youtube! Crazy!

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