A 17-track collection, The Definitive Buddy Guy spans the blues man’s 50-year career. Guy is joined on the disc by long time cohorts Junior Wells and Pinetop Perkins, as well as The Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman. Guy shows himself as a consummate master of the Chicago electric blues sound, though if there is one downside of this compilation, it is that most of the material focuses more on his talent as a vocalist and less on his prowess with a guitar.
The highlight of the disc lies in “A Man of Many Words,” a live track from 1972 in which Guy and Wells are backed by a band including Eric Clapton, Dr. John, and the Derek & the Dominoes rhythm section of Jim Gordon and Carl Radle. Though Clapton’s presence on guitar is minimal, the tune’s groove is oh so familiar, sounding much like the source of inspiration for the melody line The Black Crowes would use years later in their remake of Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle.”
The Definitive Buddy Guy is out now on Shout! Factory.