First of all, let it be said that Buddy Guy is an electric Blues guitarist, and not a pre-War "Country Blues" artist. His guitar playing on the Skip James track really shows that Buddy was simply clowning around at these sessions and is also very limited on an acoustic guitar. The subtleties and nuances that Skip James provided us with in the song, on both the 1931 recording and on later versions, is totally missing from the Buddy Guy version. Johnny Shines, who is one of the greatest Bluesmen of the second half of the 20th century, has a song on this album that is covered by Buddy Guy, according to the liner notes from this album. The only problem is that the Buddy Guy track doesn't resemble the Shines version in any way. The music and lyrics are totally different. Every song on this album lacks the vitality and musical sophistication of the respective originals. People who claim to be Blues fans and rank this album very high are obviously doing so only because they are huge Buddy Guy fans. I enjoy Buddy Guy's Chess recordings and also some of the stuff he did during his comeback almost 20 years ago, but this album is just plain awful. If you want to hear some good acoustic Blues music, I strongly recommend Johnny Shines' "Standing at the Crossroads", "The Complete Recordings of Robert Johnson" or Furry Lewis' "Shake 'Em On Down". Those recordings are three of the best examples of excellent Blues music.
T. McCool says: You missed the point. This and Buddy's previous CD, Sweet Tea, go hand-in-hand. Blues Singer includes songs written and recorded by the same Mississippi hill country artists Buddy covered on Sweet Tea, but Blues Singer is the acoustic version. This is not meant to be yet another electric blues workout from Buddy. He's been there, done that. Here, we discover not Buddy the Guitarist, but Buddy the Blues Singer, and he delivers. How can you miss the emotion in his voice on every single track? Listen again, stop trying to figure out the guitar tunings, and listen to his voice.
D.B. Pepper says:
Sorry, but you are the one who is missing the point. Firstly, there's not a single song on Blues Singer that is by an artist who plays in the Mississippi Hill Country style! Hill Country Blues and Delta Blues are two totally different entities. The songs on this album are by men who played Delta Blues, unless you consider John Lee Hooker to be Hill Country Blues. Son House (Delta), who has a song on this album, and Fred McDowell (Hill Country), whose music is not present on this album, have styles that are not one and the same. I'm not looking for "another electric Blues workout" from Buddy Guy; I want to see what he can do with an acoustic guitar. I'm a Country Blues lover. The answer is that he can't do very much with an acoustic guitar compared to the men whose songs he's covering. He should have practiced a lot more before recording this album. Also, the song that is credited to Johnny Shines is something that Johnny never even sang. Even though Johnny did a song with the title "Moanin' And Groanin'", that song has nothing in common, lyrically or musically, with the song on this Buddy Guy disc. That's a pretty big blunder on Buddy and his record company's part. It may be true that Buddy's singing on this album is fine, but his versions of these songs truly pale in comparison to the original recordings.