It's hard to say that Buddy Guy's career was revived by his appearance in the Rolling Stones' Shine a Light, but his mesmerizing duet on Muddy Waters' "Champagne and Reefer" in that Martin Scorsese concert film was a bracing, welcome reminder of just how good Guy is, especially for listeners who may have let their attention wander in the years since Damn Right, I've Got the Blues. What made Guy so riveting was his coiled aggression: in stark contrast to the deferential Jack White, he came to cut the Stones down and he did so mercilessly, which made it the musical highlight of a show with plenty of great moments. That wildness has kept Buddy Guy unpredictable well into his senior citizenship, and it surfaces on Skin Deep, only perhaps not quite as often as it should. Touted as his first album of original material, Skin Deep does work as an effective showcase for Buddy's most original voice: his wild, gnarly guitar. The production may be crisp and clean but Buddy refuses to play polite, messing up the pristine surfaces with big, nasty, ugly smears of guitar. Even when the record gleams too brightly -- as it does just a little bit too often -- Guy sounds like he's trying to tear things apart from the inside, which lends vigor and energy to numbers that are performed with just a shade too much preciseness. Thankfully, not all of Skin Deep is so clean, as the record opens up with a pair of dynamite collaborations with Robert Randolph -- the stripped-down, swampy Delta blues "Out in the Woods" and the muscular "That's My Home." Guy also gets in a couple of good numbers with Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks -- there's also a duet with Eric Clapton on "Every Time I Sing the Blues," which slides into a too-comfortable slow groove -- and these are the moments when Skin Deep really clicks, as the songs spark and the band truly cooks. Elsewhere, the music slips toward the conventional, but at least it sounds like Guy is trying to reel it back in with that monstrous guitar, which can still sound wondrous. It's kind of fun to hear the accidental tension between Guy's guitar and the slick surfaces, but when he's paired with a band or production that matches his grit, Skin Deep is so good that it's hard not to wish the whole record sounded just like that.
Performance CreditsBuddy Guy Primary Artist,Vocals
Bonnie Bramlett Background Vocals
Bekka Bramlett Background Vocals,Hand Clapping
Eric Clapton Guitar,Vocals,Guest Appearance
David Grissom Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Richie Hayward Drums
Wendy Moten Background Vocals,Hand Clapping
Derek Trucks Slide Guitar,Guest Appearance
Willie Weeks Bass,Bass Guitar
Nathan Williams Accordion
Reese Wynans Keyboards
Tom Hambridge Percussion,Drums,Tambourine,Vocals,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping
Lannie McMIllian Tenor Saxophone
Mark Franklin Trumpet
Susan Tedeschi Vocals,Guest Appearance
Kirk Smothers Tenor Saxophone
Quinn Sullivan Guitar
James L. Spake Baritone Saxophone
Technical CreditsBuddy Guy Composer
Willie Mitchell Horn Arrangements
Scott Baggett Engineer
Tom Hambridge Producer
Joshua Marc Levy Art Direction
Cara Bridgins Hutchinson Producer
Stoker White Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
After seeing Buddy Guy in concert recently in Hollywood, Florida, I was eager to buy any CD he had out there. Lucky for me Skin Deep was out there and his latest CD out. As Buddy said himself, his kind of Blues isn't what you'll hear on the radio. He's the real deal! I appreciate his work with Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks on this album. One song "Who will fill those shoes" featured a young man, Quinn Sullivan on guitar. Maybe it's just me but is Quinn that good that he already sounds like a seasoned Blues guitar player? All I can say is Holy Cow!
My husband is the Blues fan. He asked me to purchase this on the day it came out. Its a sweet CD. We saw Buddy Guy perform at the Seneca Alleghany Casino in April 09. Well worth the drive, he is a legend. If you dont have this CD already...go, run, buy it!!
EXCUSE ME BUT ITS REESE WYNANS ON B-3 A MUST HAVE CD FOR B-3 PLAYERS EXTREMLY SOUL FULL OF RYTHEM AND BLUES, OH YEA BUUDY AINT THAT BAD EITHER THANKS GUY,S-------------J.
The help from some stellar guests does not diminish the fact that this is Buddy Guy's cd. As in Shine A Light, when Buddy's front and center the side men are just that. The only difference is that these sidemen are of such a level to enhance the entire song. Derek Trucks slide just rings out on the title track to reinforce Buddy's singing. Bottom line: great playing and emotional signing from a legend. Grab it now.