Now 86, Buddy Guy's status as one of the world's pre-eminent blues guitar figures has long been cemented. Just don't tell him to slow down.
Guy has a new album on the horizon, called The Blues Don't Lie. He announced it in style last month with "Gunsmoke Blues," (opens in new tab) a powerful lament focused on America's ever-growing gun violence epidemic that features Jason Isbell on vocals.
Now, the blues legend has premiered the album's second single, the reflective "We Go Back."
Featuring the incomparable Mavis Staples on vocals, "We Go Back" finds the two titans of American music reflecting on the past – and both the good and bad times it brought. You can hear it below.
Over Guy's ever-tasteful, never-a-foot-wrong licks, Staples invokes her still-raw memories of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Guy himself nostalgically remembers that a cup of coffee cost a nickel, and that a dollar could buy a bottle of wine, but "the crying and the dying," and "the hell it took to get us here," as he says, are never far from his mind.
Produced by longtime Guy collaborator Tom Hambridge, The Blues Don't Lie is set for release – via Sony – on September 30, marking the 65th anniversary of the very day Guy first arrived in Chicago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
It was in Chicago that Guy's showmanship and explosive talent on the electric guitar first brought him to the world's attention.
“I used to lay the guitar down and put my feet on it, or drag it across my butt," he told Guitar Player in an interview years ago. "I don’t do that anymore. But way back when they used to have guitar battles every Sunday afternoon in Chicago, I won them all because most of the guitar players sat down until I came to town."
To preorder The Blues Don't Lie, step right this way (opens in new tab).
Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.
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