Buddy Guy’s “Living Proof” is the Best Thing Buddy’s Done Since the Next Thing He’ll Do


I think it’s safe to finally say it: Buddy simply can’t make a bad album. Living Proof is an iconic Buddy Guy release. Largely free from gust musicians and other potential distractions, instead the album focuses on the magic and story that is Buddy. The first track, as has been Buddy’s style in recent years, starts slow and tense. The acoustic guitar plays a low tune while a slide guitar shakes some tension into the mix as Buddy sternly delivers the proverbial “I’m 74 years young“. Pretty soon, though, you’ll realize that Buddy wasn’t kidding about that “young” part after it only takes him about a minute and a half to explode into a white hot blur of guitar art that will knock you on your tail. He belts out tracks about women, life, his many blessings and the blues, while punching knockout guitar riffs in all the right places.

Buddy is a master at delivering searing tension and shocking musical explosions, and on tracks like “Too Soon”, “On The Road” and “Skanky”, the guitar bends, twists, and takes the listener on a wild, charged journey. “Thank Me Someday” is a heavy, entertaining autobiographical track about how Buddy drove his family crazy playing guitar as a child, and how he swore they would thank him someday. “Stay Around A Little Longer”, the first single from the album, features Buddy and B.B. King in a soul warming and introspective duet. The two let their guitars talk back and forth as they poetically sing about their blessings of longevity and desire to keep making music. Reese Wynans on the B3 Organ artfully lays down the gospel undertones that cement the track the track together. Ultimately, this is one of the best duets either of the two have done in recent memory.
Overall, while some of the licks sound distinctly familiar, and the album has favored a polished sound over the more raw feel of past releases, Living Proof is comparable to one of Buddy’s unequivocally finest works: Sweet Tea, and thus is a must-have.
Track Listing
1) 74 Years Young
2) Thank Me Someday
3) On The Road
4) Stay Around A Little Longer
5) Key Don’t Fit
6) Living Proof
7) Where The blues Begins
8) Too Soon
9) Everybody’s Got To Go
10) Let The Door Knob hit Ya
11) Guess What
12) Skanky