December is usually as dead as a log as far as new blues CD releases go, but every now and then a label will try to slip a knuckleball over the plate and surprise us just in time for Christmas. Those honors go to RCA Records this year, the label evidently trying to capitalize on the Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy's recent receipt of the coveted Kennedy Center Honors with this unexpected Live At Legends set.
Recorded during Guy's final days performing at his now-closed Legends club in Chicago, Live At Legends captures one of the guitarist's final performances at the venue in January 2010, offering up seven incendiary tracks. There are some surprises for sure in these grooves, including Guy's inspired medley of John Lee Hooker's classic "Boom Boom" running directly into Cream's "Strange Brew." He performs a similar trick with Jimi Hendrix, mashing up the guitarist's "Voodoo Chile" with the Cream gem "Sunshine Of Your Love."
The big "gotcha" for Buddy Guy fans, however, is the inclusion of three previously unreleased studio tracks from the sessions for Guy's Living Proof album: "Polka Dot Love," "Coming For You," and "Country Boy." Don't know what they sound like yet, and their failure to make the album has little to do with the quality - major label releases, in particular, will often drop good songs off the final sequencing for an album to lower the cost of songwriting royalties. So there's your Christmas present from Buddy Guy...seven new, scorching live tracks, three unreleased studio songs, one reasonably-priced new album. The Reverend has already ordered his copy, and you can find Live At Legends in your local record store on December 18, 2012.
Buddy Guy's Live At Legends tracklist:
2. Best Damn Fool
3. Mannish Boy
4. I Just Want To Make Love To You
5. Skin Deep
6. Damn Right I Got The Blues
7. Boom Boom/Strange Brew
8. Voodoo Chile/Sunshine Of Your Love
9. Polka Dot Love
10. Coming For You
11. Country Boy
Related content: Kennedy Center Honors For Buddy Guy, Led Zeppelin
Photo courtesy RCA Records