RELEASE
June 12, 2007
LABEL
Vanguard
GENRES
Blues, Chicago Blues, Electric Chicago Blues, Regional Blues, Modern Electric Chicago Blues, Electric Blues

Album Review

After leaving Chess in the late '60s, Buddy Guy went to Vanguard, where he cut three albums: the excellent A Man and the Blues, the mediocre This Is Buddy Guy (a live album) and Hold That Plane. Vanguard Visionaries pulls tracks from those albums as well as an outtake from A Man and the Blues, "Poison Ivy," first released on a different Vanguard comp, As Good As It Gets. Those better acquainted with Guy's later material for labels like Alligator, JSP and especially Silvertone may be surprised by his thin-sounding guitar tone, but Guy could let it rip back then even without the extreme volume. He's quite the showman as well, with his fierce guitar playing and passionate vocals, able to kick it up-tempo or drag it way down slow (he's especially powerful on the slow tunes). The main highlights here are Guy's classic "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and the haunting slow blues of "One Room Country Shack" which features the great Otis Spann (incidentally, both are from A Man and the Blues). Guy has never been a strictly traditional bluesman, as evidenced here by his takes on "Knock on Wood" and "Watermelon Man" (which doesn't quite fit with the rest of the set). Vanguard Visionaries is a decent compilation of this phase of Guy's career although some -- any -- discographical information would have been appreciated.
Sean Westergaard, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. I Can't Quit the Blues
  2. The Things I Used to Do [Live]
  3. 24 Hours of the Day [Live]
  4. My Time After Awhile
  5. Mary Had a Little Lamb
  6. Knock on Wood [Live]
  7. Poison Ivy
  8. Hold That Plane
  9. One Room Country Shack
  10. Watermelon Man