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Monday, December 7, 2015

Buddy Guy: D.J. Play My Blues


1) Girl You're Nice And Clean; 2) Dedication To The Late T-Bone Walker; 3) Good News; 4) Blues At My Baby's House; 5) She Suits Me To A T; 6) D.J. Play My Blues; 7) Just Teasin'; 8) All Your Love; 9) The Garbage Man Blues; 10) Mellow Down.

The last of these semi-obscure Buddy Guy albums before he once again went into hiatus is usual­ly listed as having been recorded in Chicago in December 1981 and released on the JSP label in 1982; the 10-track edition is a 1987 CD reissue that originally went under the title of Complete DJ Play My Blues Sessions. Featuring Mike Morrison on bass, Ray Allison on drums, and se­cond guitarist Doug Williams, this is once again a stark, uncompromising affair that completely refuses to recognize or respect the progressive advancement of the musical world — in fact, if anything, it's a «regressive» album on Buddy's own terms, since it pretty much abandons the cool-tone-based personality of Breaking Out and returns to a far more standard, conservative electric blues paradigm.

The title track is a good indication of what's at stake — searching for a good pretext to enter one of his blue moods, Buddy finds a suitable one in the fact that blues went out of fashion, so the song, instead of pleading for baby to come home, as it normally should, pleads for Mr. D.J. to play some T-Bone Walker (instead of all that New Wave crap, one has to assume). Of course, the D.J. has no answer to that, so there's nothing left to do but to play some T-Bone Walker on one's own (ʽDedicationʼ, which is indeed played very much in classic T-Bone Walker style, even if Buddy never attaches as much importance to each individual note as the late T-Bone did — the speed curse hits the man even in slow mode).

A somewhat shadier side of said conservatism is the sheer amount of «mutated» songs by classic artists that Buddy includes here in only very slightly modified versions — most likely, so that he can get his own songwriting credits (on an album that wouldn't sell anyway, but I guess that when you're so down on your luck, every penny counts). For instance, Otis Rush' ʽAll Your Love (I Miss Loving)ʼ becomes simply ʽAll Your Loveʼ; Little Walter's ʽMellow Down Easyʼ becomes simply ʽMellow Downʼ; ʽShe Suits Me To A Tʼ is an Elmore James number with new lyrics; and ʽGood Newsʼ is a strange hybrid of ʽMemphis Tennesseeʼ (melody), ʽGood Rockin' Tonightʼ (lyrics) and an ad-libbed mish-mash of old rock'n'roll clichés.

People interested in musical family ties should check out ʽThe Garbage Man Bluesʼ, a duet be­tween Buddy and his brother Phil Guy, who takes lead vocals and adds his own guitar leads — as a singer, his talents are quite comparable to Buddy's, but as a guitarist, this is just nepotism in action. Overall, there's nothing here to make the record stand out from the average pool of pro­fessional electric blues-rock, and while I fully concur with Buddy's pleading on the whole, he does not exactly build as much of a strong case for himself here as he provides a good pretext for brushing the dust off all those T-Bone, Elmore, Otis, and Little Walter records to which D.J. Play My Blues is nothing but a humble, uninventive tribute.

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