Buddy Guy has been around so long we seem to need constant reminders of not only how great he was, but how great he still is. In 1991, he delivered his comeback album Damn Right I've Got The Blues, an album powerful enough to overcome more than a decade in relative obscurity.
Last year Guy joined the Rolling Stones on a ferocious cover of Muddy Waters' "Champagne & Reefer," and took them back to school! Listen to the soundtrack of Martin Scorsese's Shine a Light or watch the film and you'll witness the timeless force of nature that is Buddy Guy reducing the Stones to rubble.
This year he returns with Skin Deep, his first since 2005. Guy wrote or co-wrote seven of the 12 songs on the album and is joined by guests (Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Eric Clapton, and Robert Randolph) on five of them.
Opener "Best Damn Fool" is a rocker with a big, B.B. King-style arrangement adorned with glitzy horns. "BDF" is in the vein of Muddy Waters' "Got My Mojo Working," something he makes clear with a sweet homage near the song's end. "Lyin' Like a Dog" — seven minutes of Guy at his visceral best — and the title track are also bright spots.
Robert Randolph makes the most of his two guest appearances, trading some screaming solos with the legend. Guy is an open channel of the blues, and a direct current flows through him in every note he sings and plays. He could do a record in 3/4 waltz time and it would still be the blues. The album plays nicely and with one exception — the cringe-inducing "Show Me the Money" — is a pleasure to listen to.