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Interview:
The LIstening Room: Buddy Guy, Led Zeppelin, ICP, Joss Stone and more...
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Buddy Guy

"Born To Play Guitar"

(Silvertone/RCA)

Grade: A-


With the recent passing of B.B. King, Buddy Guy is the reigning king of the blues -- and he's more than up to the task. Guy, a Louisiana native now based in Chicago, where he was schooled by the titans of the past, is certainly aware that he's one of the last men standing; there's a reason this 14-song set ends with "Flesh & Bone," a soulful elegy dedicated to King and sung with Van Morrison, and the "Come Back Muddy" paean to the long-gone Waters. But most of "Born To Play Guitar" finds Guy living up to the title, in strong vocal and playing form, ripping through a wide swatch of blues styles from the shuffling "Too Late" (one of two songs featuring the Fabulous Thunderbirds' Kim Wilson on harmonica), to the brassy "Thick Like Mississippi Mud" to the grinding "Whiskey, Beer & Wine" and "Wear You Out," the latter a ferocious duel with ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons. Guy joins forces with Joss Stone to recreate the Brook Benton-Dinah Washington favorite "(Baby) You Got What It Takes," while "Turn Me Wild" flexes some badass boasts and "Crazy World" lets Guy get into an ambient, vibey space that complements the rest of the album's more gutbucket approach. In "Turn Me Wild" he sings that, "You can't pick how people remember you/You just hope some day they do;" with a legacy that's only enhanced by "Born To Play Guitar," Guy doesn't need to worry about that.

New & Noteworthy:

Insane Clown Posse, "The Marvelous Missing Link: Found" (Psychopathic): The second part of the Detroit rap duo's project ("Lost" came out in April) strikes more of a party vibe than its sober, darker predecessor.

Lianne La Havas, "Blood" (Warner Bros.): The second by the British singer-songwriter teams her on one track with hitmaker Paul Epworth (Adele) and fills out her sound with soul, jazz, reggae and gospel flavors.

Led Zeppelin, "Presence (Deluxe Edition)"; "In Through the Out Door (Deluxe Edition)" and "Coda" (Deluxe Edition)" (Rhino): The final three entries in the Jimmy Page-curated reissue series each feature a disc of bonus outtake and unreleased material that enhance the group's already formidable legacy.

Saint Asonia, "Saint Asonia" (RCA): The debut outing by the hard rock supergroup led by former Three Days Grace frontman Adam Gontier and Staind guitarist Mike Mushok.

Joss Stone, "Water For Your Soul" (Stone'd): The British singer immerses herself further into reggae and hip-hop, with SuperHeavy bandmate Damian Marley helping on one track.

Teenage Time Killers, "Greatest Hits Vol. 1" (Reprise): Another supergroup, recorded at Dave Grohl's Studio 606 with him on bass for 11 tracks and members of Stone Sour, Slipknot, Clutch, Lamb Of God, Corrosion of Conformity, Bad Religion and more filling out the ranks.

Also Out: Natlaie Imbruglia, "Male" (Portrait); Kataklysm, "Of Ghosts & Gods" (Nuclear Blast); Dave Koz, "Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection" (Concord); Lil Dicky, "Professional Rapper" (self-released); Migos, "Yung Rich Nation" (Quality Control); Moraz Alban Project, "MAP" (self-released); Rock Candy Funk Party, "Groove is King" (J&R Adventures); Daniel Romano, "If I`ve Only One Time Askin'" (New West); Johnny Sky, "Johnny Sky" (PLM); Titus Andronicus, "The Most Lamentable Tragedy" (Merge); Xandria, "Fire & Ashes" (Napalm EP)

From the Vaults: Alice Cooper, "The Studio Albums 1969-1983" (Warner Bros./Rhino); Vince Guaraldi, "Peanuts Greatest Hits" (Fantasy); Joy Division, "Substance" (Rhino)

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