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128 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars QUITE POSSIBLY CAREER DEFINING
This triumphant album opens with the song "74 Years Young." The song begins quietly as Buddy looks back at his life. But when he hits the bridge he lays down a savage guitar solo that: a) owes as much to Link Wray as it does to the blues and b) displays what 74 years young really means. This song is followed by another autobiographical song where he tells the story of...
Published on October 13, 2010 by James N. Perlman

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hot Licks/ Poor sounding record
Buddy Guy lays down fine guitar work on this, and it'll send shivers down your spine. But the record has the sound you'll often hear on newly produced vinyl: thin and scratchy. Listen to some of the LPs from over 40 years ago and you'll hear the difference: deep bass, full sound and clarity without any scratchiness. Its like the album was cut superficially (don't buy...
Published 13 months ago by Paul S. Carver


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128 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars QUITE POSSIBLY CAREER DEFINING, October 13, 2010
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This review is from: Living Proof (Vinyl) (Vinyl)
This triumphant album opens with the song "74 Years Young." The song begins quietly as Buddy looks back at his life. But when he hits the bridge he lays down a savage guitar solo that: a) owes as much to Link Wray as it does to the blues and b) displays what 74 years young really means. This song is followed by another autobiographical song where he tells the story of his early life in Louisiana where, as a child, he taught himself to play a two-string guitar. Again, a blistering lead is the musical centerpiece. Track three, "On The Road" is a more "conventional" blues work-up, horns and all. Another fantastic track, where, after the fade at the end, one can hear a band-member saying "Yeah" in appreciation. Track four is the duet with B.B. King. It's pure magic. And the coda, where Buddy and B.B. speak to one another, is just about as moving a moment as one can find in recorded music. In the duet with Carlos Santana, Buddy shows he can do Latin rhythms side-by-side with the master. And so it goes for an hour or so, one great track after another.

Frankly, I can find possibly only one track, "Too Soon" that might be just a tad too tame or formulaic. But this is followed by the terrific final fours songs on the album, which include "Let The Door Hit Ya" and "Guess What" (both with Buddy in full sexual swagger). So one possibly formulaic song in an hour's worth of new music is a something I will take any day of the week.

An argument could be mounted that this is Buddy's career defining album. At 74, his skills are still intact and he remains a consummate songwriter, with something new to offer, both in his lyrics and certainly in his music.** It is kind of a wonder that people like Buddy, and the lesser know and somewhat older Hubert Sumlin, can still excite you with high level performances.

The production, at least on the vinyl pressing, is outstanding. I don't know if, or how much, compression will appear on the CD, but this is an album that was clearly recorded pretty much live in the studio, with probably few, if any, overdubs; so the sound is organic and real. Consequently, it benefits from being heard in the analog domain of vinyl. Plus, the vinyl may end up being some sort of collector's item as all the music appears on the first three sides leaving the fourth side blank so it can be devoted to a really cool etching in the vinyl of a portion of the guitar on the back of the LP cover. My only complaint about the vinyl release is there are no liner notes to show songwriting credits, song personnel, etc. But, at this price, for a double LP which is a very quiet pressing, this is a very small complaint.

The pre-release rumors here in Chicago were: "You got to hear this one when it comes out." Boy, were the rumors right!

** 10/24/10 At the time I wrote this review, as indicated above, I was without songwriting credit. Now that I have learned the songwriting credits, this sentence requires modification. Buddy shares songwriting credit on five of the twelve tracks on this album with drummer/producer, Tom Hambridge. On six of the seven the remaining tracks, Hambridge shares songwriting credit with either Gary Nicholson or Richard Fleming (Who also receives songwriting credit on two of the Guy/Hambridge compositions.). One song is credited to Hambridge alone.
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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RICK "SHAQ" GOLDSTEIN SAYS: "THIS MY BROTHER... IS WHAT ELECTRIC BLUES IS ALL ABOUT!!**, October 26, 2010
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This review is from: Living Proof (Audio CD)
Though Buddy dedicates this CD to the fact that he's *SEVENTY-FOUR-YEARS-OLD*... his one of a kind electric blues performance says more than words can ever hope to... that he is absolutely ageless. His emanating power... song selection... which melds lyrics... voice... and mind boggling electrical guitar dominance... speaks of a man one-third his age with blues talent that has to come straight from the Lord. Way before you've even finished listening to this instant electric blues classic for the first time... a true lover of electric blues is thinking and praying way past the obvious next move of playing it again... you're selfishly dreaming of his next CD.

His voice and enthusiasm are a marvel unto itself... and as a lifetime electric blues lover I can wholeheartedly say that the way he bends the strings and squeezes out a sound... that one can easily imagine being similar to a muscular blacksmith or iron worker reshaping steel girders into musical electric blues with the mere strength of his hands.

1) 74 YEARS YOUNG - Buddy tells you "WHEN IT COMES TO LOVIN I AIN'T EVER DONE. I'M SEVENTY-FOUR-YEARS-YOUNG". His power will make anyone a believer.

2) THANK ME SOMEDAY - This has a John Lee Hooker "Boom-Boom" beat and Buddy proceeds to tell you the story of his youth in Louisiana.

3) ON THE ROAD - Foot tapping-guitar snapping. *CARS/MY BABY/THUNDER & LIGHTNING-UNDER-THE-HOOD* on the road. Coincidentally there's *THUNDER & LIGHTNING* in Buddy's guitar.

4) STAY AROUND A LITTLE LONGER - Soft, sweet and mellow. Buddy and B.B. King. Reminiscent of B.B.'s CD "Blues On The Bayou". Note: the video (not part of this CD package) is priceless with the body language and expressions of these two blues titans. Telling each other that they both sound good and they're buddies.

5) KEY DON'T FIT - Electric blues power at full throttle! Buddy's voice has been to the fountain of youth, and he must have super human strength... because he snaps those guitar strings like they're molten steel girders.

6) LIVING PROOF - Roadhouse-stomping-blues. *SNARLING GUITAR* with background chorus reminiscent of Ray Charles's Raeletts. You could bottle up the kinetic energy in this song and light an entire city!

7) WHERE THE BLUES BEGINS - With Carlos Santana. A straight blues ballad.

8) TOO SOON - Back to foot stomping. Almost like the sound Jerry Lee Lewis would make if he played a guitar instead of a piano.

9) EVERYBODY'S GOT TO GO - A ballad very similar to *SKIN DEEP*. A very good searing guitar.

10) LET THE DOOR KNOB HIT YA - Rockin' blues with Buddy telling you like only Buddy can... TO GET OUT! "LET THE DOOR KNOB HIT YA... MY DAMx DOG SHOULDA BIT YA!"

11) GUESS WHAT - Want to know what blues guitar **SHOULD-SOUND LIKE?** Then listen to this. "SMELL LIKE A RAT" "GUESS WHAT? YOUR LITTLE SISTER WANTS TO TRY ME ON!" Buddy is an unleashed electric blues dynamo!

12) SKANKY - If you doubt anything I've said about Buddy's string bending guitar PREEMINENCE listen to this instrumental. Three sounds to keep in your soul whenever you dream of the way an electric blues guitar should sound: **ALBERT KING** - **STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN** - **BUDDY GUY**
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've been a dog, and I've been a tomcat..., November 13, 2010
By 
Mike (San Jose, CA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Living Proof (Audio CD)
Ever since Buddy revitalized his recording career with 1991's Damn Right, I've Got the Blues (Expanded Edition), music lovers have been treated to one live grenade after another. The latest, "Living Proof," shows that Buddy isn't slowing down, he's only getting better and better. The opener, "74 Years Young," starts off seductively with just Buddy and his acoustic guitar. He's teasing, he's motioning you toward the place where he's coiled in the grass like the king of all crawling kingsnakes, and at the 3 minute mark, BLAM...shock & awe, Buddy in full electric mode, shredding everything in his path. I can see that grin, that big ear-to-ear expression of joy that Buddy gets when he knows he's got you right where he wants you.

Life is good. Buddy's back with a new album that should equally inspire and terrify every guitarist on the planet.

The next track, "Thank Me Someday," stomps and lumbers along in glorious Muddy mode, in the style of "Rolling Stone" and "Two Trains Coming." Is that a red house over yonder? Buddy yells "LISTEN! LISTEN TO ME" as he effortlessly peels the paint from the walls with a slow solo that morphs into an a rapid-fire whirlwind of arpeggios. Damn RIGHT he's got the blues.

"On The Road" is a laid-back shuffle that is reminiscent of Albert King and the Clapton-Green-Taylor era of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, but it's still pure Buddy. Two and a half minutes, there's the solo...we're only up to the third track and Buddy has already delivered 300% of your minimum daily requirement of mind-numbing, awe-inspiring blues guitar solos.

"Stay Around A Little Longer"...Buddy's duet with B.B. King...is a blues ballad, nice and relaxed, with an easy-going give and take of verses and solos.

"Key Don't Fit" is another thump-and-sting slow blues, back into heavy-duty soloing territory. The title track channels the Mick Taylor / Keith Richards blues of Exile on Main Street, then kicks it up a few notches.

"Where The Blues Begins" (with Carlos Santana) is another slow one, a "back down in the alley" blues that is a bot more restrained than the songs that have preceded it.

"Everybody's Got To Go" is a ballad, with sweet "ooooh" background vocals and a swirling organ that's right out of the Shelter Records albums Freddie King made with Leon Russell's crew.

"Let The Door Knob Hit Ya" is in the spirit of "Damn Right I've Got The Blues"..."Don't let the door hit ya where my damn dog should have bit ya"...more solos, another "stone crazy" track from Buddy.

"Guess What" is slow and deadly, and almost half of the track consists of soloing. Buddy closes out the album with "Skanky," a 4-minute instrumental for those of you in the audience who didn't get enough soloing in the previous 49 minutes.

You say you want a GREAT Buddy Guy album, one where the guitar takes center stage and he howls like a madman? This would be that album. One of the best albums of 2010, and one of the best in Buddy's career. Don't stop here, Buddy...keep 'em coming.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is not the record of the year... It's record of the decade, November 10, 2010
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This review is from: Living Proof (Audio CD)
Do you remember when you'd get a new album and you simply couldn't take it off the turn table? You'd listen to it over and over again until it seeped into your unconscious? Frankly, the last time I did that with a record was Paul Simon's Graceland. And then I purchased Buddy Guy's Living Proof last week. Living Proof is easily the greatest record this seminal electric blues artist has ever made. At seventy-four years of age, Buddy Guy's voice is like Rebel Yell Bourbon and his guitar styling is SRV on steroids. The songs too, and Buddy is a great song writer and interpreter, are among the best and most compelling he's ever written and performed. I don't know what happened in his life that inspired this build up and explosion of his creative genius, but this record is spectacular from beginning to end. Guy's friend, Eric Clapton, has a wonderful new album out, too, but these records are from different universes. Strangely, Guys Living Proof has the power and energy you'd expect from a newcomer with something to prove, not a cherished veteran of the Blues Wars. If you think there hasn't been a great blues album in at least a decade, your wait is over. If you love the blues of Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, this record is absolutely in a class with their best work. If you love Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Johnny Winters, Kenny Wayne Shephard, Sean Costello, all of those guys could learn a lot from this Guy's new record, and if they're alive I'm telling you they ARE listening to it. If there's any justice in this world, this record should sweep the Grammies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have, March 10, 2011
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This review is from: Living Proof (Audio CD)
This is absolutely a must have for Buddy's fans. How this man has never had a "Hit Song" is beyond me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relentless!, March 9, 2011
By 
Blacklake "cmd1" (Austin, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Living Proof (Audio CD)
Like a chunk of black-and-blue steak, simultaneously scorched and raw, not only is this one of Guy's most viscerally satisfying albums, it may be his flat-out best. That's a hell of a thing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, you need to buy this!, March 1, 2011
By 
J. Bryan "BikeCamper" (Houston, of all places) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Living Proof (Audio CD)
Yep, the basis of the Blues is here in "Living Proof"!

Best album I've bought in several years. Spend the money...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buddy Guy's best CD yet, October 11, 2012
This review is from: Living Proof (Audio CD)
I've seen Buddy Guy live a few times and I have a couple of his albums, but previously my feeling was that the studio albums never quite matched his live performance. And while I love his guitar playing, I didn't always like his voice. But this album, Living Proof, really is just that. This is the best album he's done in years -- maybe the best of his career. And if you're not really a Buddy Guy expert and just want a great blues album, this is one of the best across all blues artists.

As other reviews have said, Buddy is looking back on his 74 years in several songs and he has a helluva story to tell. He tells it with passion, insight and warmth. Songs like "74 Years Young", "Stay Around A Little Longer", "Thank Me Someday" are fantastic musically and lyrically. On a blues album, usually I'm happy to just get to the solos, but I found the singing and words superb. Buddy's voice has mellowed out and maybe it's the stories he tells or the way it all ties in with the music, but it's really a great combination. And when you add guest visits by BB King,

There's also some classic Blues like "Where the Blues Begins" and the instrumental "Skanky". That is one awesome pure guitar blues song. And when you also consider there are guest appearances on the album by BB King and Carlos Santana, this is truly an awesome album. Don't hesitate to buy this for any lover of the blues.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buddy's Best, April 1, 2011
This review is from: Living Proof (MP3 Music)
From start to finish, quite possibly his best work ever. The song writing is superb, the lyrics are clever, intelligent, and funny, and the guitar playing is smokin'!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously?, December 31, 2010
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This review is from: Living Proof (Audio CD)
For many people only familiar with Buddy Guy circa "Damn Right" forward, this is a more enjoyable and complete disc. Incomprehensible that the guitar playing and vocals came from a 74 year old musician who in many ways is outdoing himself, and sounding very fresh. I can only tip my hat.
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Living Proof
Living Proof by Buddy Guy (Audio CD - 2010)
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