Album Mini-review: Buddy Guy — Born to Play Guitar
File Next to: (early) Eric Clapton
, Stevie Ray Vaughan
, Jimi Hendrix
No one can argue with any amount of credibility that Buddy Guy hasn’t paid his dues. Now 79 years old, the prime exemplar of Chicago electric blues can make any sort of album he cares to make. And it’s worth pointing out that bluesmen have made concession to popular trends before (anyone remember Muddy Waters‘ unfairly maligned 1968 album, ]Electric Mud?). And the idea of an album full of collaborations with “today’s stars” isn’t a new idea, either; just ask the late Ray Charles, Carlos Santana, or any number of other high-profile artists. So there’s nothing exactly groundbreaking about Born to Play Guitar, featuring as it does guest spots from Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Kim Wilson (Fabulous Thunderbirds), Joss Stone and Van Morrison. There’s a guitar-slinging, autobiographical tone to many of the set’s songs, and they rock pretty hard while allowing room for Guy’s swaggering vocals and still-stinging lead guitar work.
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About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.