Considering the troubled background of this album (Eric Clapton, Ahmet Ertegun, and Tom Dowd only ended up with eight tracks at a series of 1970 sessions in Miami; two years later, the J. Geils Band was brought in to cut two additional songs to round out the long-delayed LP for 1972 release), the results were pretty impressive. Guy contributes dazzling lead axe to their revival of "T-Bone Shuffle;" Wells provides a sparkling remake of Sonny Boy's "My Baby She Left Me," and Guy is entirely credible in a grinding Otis Redding mode on the southern soul stomper "A Man of Many Words."
All Music Guide
========= from the cover ==========
"For me. Buddy Guy without doubt is the best living Blues guitarists Nobody". less than Eric "Slowhand" Clapton said this about his encounters with the blues man from Chicago.
This album could give proof to Old Slowhand's words. In two memorable sessions, some of the greatest blues legends met. In 1970, Erie Clapton joined forces with Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and the accomplished Chicago blues session men A.C. Reed (ts,.), Mike Utiey (p. and org.) Leroy Stewart (b.) and Roosevelt Shaw (dr.). Dr. John, the Nighttripper, the white piano exentric from New Orleans, upon hearing what was going in Miami's Sound Criteria Studio, spontaneously decided that he had to share the fun as well and sat in for Mike Utiey on three pieces, Carl Radle (b.) - ex Delaney & Bonnie - and Jim Gordon (dr.) - ex Johnny River's LA Boogie Band, Eric Clapton's fellow musicians from Derek And The Domi-nos, did so on one track.
Change of place, change of date. Two years later in Boston, the J. Geils band featuring Magic Dick Salwitz on harmonica in those days considered to be one of the best, if not the best, white American Blues band - jammed with one of its idols - Buddy Guy. And again, just as it had been in Miami two years before, the result was astounding as can be heard on this album, specially as one rarity is featured here - Juke Joint Jimmy shows a fine routine in the ancient art. of foot tapping.
During both sessions, the atmosphere was extremely relaxed, everybody played at ease. And even though both meeting were pure studio sessions, they feature a strong touch of a live, performance. The result was so perfect and convincing that hardly any clubbing was necessary.
Georg "Buddy" Guy was born in Lettsworth/louisiana on July 30, 1956. With 15 years he started playing on a selfmade guitar, with 17 on a real one. In his teens, he played with the likes of Slim Harpo and Lightnin' Slim. 1955 he turned professional, playing and singing in the style of his idols B.B. King and Elmore James. In 1957 he hit Chicago, the "Capital of Blues". Making the club circuit, he finally made himself a name.
After winning a "Battle of the Blues" he made his first record. But more important, after this he was accepted as a session man with Chess. He worked with Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Etta James and others (just take a look at the authors credits on this album's play-list).
He finally got his own recording-contract with Chess. In 1962 he bulleted into the R&B charts with "Stone Crazy". During those days he developed his very own guitar style, which was to become a great Influence on people like Keith Richards or Eric Clapton.
The breakthrough came for Buddy Guy when he started to work with harmonica player Junior Wells, who for long had been an established blues great in Chicago. Europe saw him the first time in 1965, when he and Junior Wells were invited by Big Mama Thornton to join the American Folk Blues Festival Teaming up with Junior Wells to form the Buddy Guy-Junior Wells-Band was the last step on Buddy's ladder to international success as a guitarist/singer and first class entertainer. A tour with the Rolling Stones and this album e.g. were only the beginning.
Junior Wells, born Amos Wells on December 9, 1954 as son of a poor farmer in Memphis/Tennessee, had already made it to Chicago in 1952, where he took over from Little Walter in Muddy Water's Chicago Blues Band. Known as a "boisterous harmonica-playing singer" he performed on his instrument more like a sax-player instead of the traditional way like Sonny Boy Williamson.
A stint in the army interrupted his career for a while, but studio work, club dates and the invitation to the American Folk Blues Festival brought him back on track. The highlight of his recording career was the album "Hoodoo Man Blues", elected "Blues Record of the Year" (1966) by Jazz Magazine. These tracks influenced specially the European blues adepts. When he finally made his session guitarist Buddy Guy his partner in the Buddy Guy-Junior Wells-Band... see above.
- H.J. Simon