Living Proof

Studio Album by released in 2010
Living Proof's tracklist:
74 Years Young
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Thank Me Someday
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On the Road
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Stay Around a Little Longer (feat. B.B. King)
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Key Don't Fit
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Living Proof
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Where the Blues Begins (feat. Carlos Santana)
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Too Soon
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Everybody's Got to Go
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Let the Door Knob Hit Ya
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Guess What
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Skanky
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Living Proof review

Buddy Guy forgot it’s time to get old

Buddy Guy (born George Guy) celebrated his seventieth anniversary as if he was destined to live another hundred years. An established musician, founder of the Chicago blues school, he went on to release new records in the twenty first century as regularly as he used to in the seventies and eighties. In 2010, the man turned 74, which he tool for the right reason to deliver another studio work. Named Living Proof, it certainly sounds up to its title as it a certificate and testimony of Buddy Guy’s talent and enthusiasm. Many regard such efforts skeptically and even scornfully thinking something like: well, what new can he or she say, sing or play? Nowadays, actually, we often come across autobiographical albums from those whose youth is long gone, records to be bought thank to the star names alone. When it comes to actual material, we have hollow songs about meaning of life and senseless flashbacks to the past moments cherished by these musicians. To be frank, you’ll get a bit of philosophy and nostalgia on Living Proof too; but what makes this record so much different from the analogous is the ever fresh stylishness, ever shining personal charm and never fading performing level of the performer.

Nostalgic and optimistic record

Living Proof is a selection of 12 new songs Buddy Guy recorded with a group of other instrumentalists, the lineup being different on different tracks. The set is introduced by the optimistic 74 Years Young, Buddy Guy’s confident statement that he still feels young and fresh. The follow-up Thank Me Someday is considerably softer and more emotional. The musician goes back to his childhood spent on a farm, his new guitar practice. This is how Living Proof is built on the contrast of nostalgia, longing for the long gone days on the one hand and certainty about the future, victory over aging on the other hand. There are songs here where Buddy Guy set a high tempo and treats the six-string instrument craftily drawing one solo after another; and there are songs where he takes an acoustic and sings quietly as he is carefully touching his cherished reminiscent. Two more legendary guitarists, B.B. King and Carlos Santana, put their efforts into the making of this album. The former helped Buddy Guy perform one of the album’s most touching numbers, Stay Around A Little Longer; and the other fought him in an instrumental duel in Where The Blues Begins, which reveals how different the styles differ.

Buddy Guy has already proved everything to everybody

Living Proof is closed as effectively and confidently as it is opened. Skanky needs no words to feature Buddy Guy as a character he has always been, a courageous, even audacious instrumentalist keen on distortion, drive and unbound music forms. While many suffer arthritis after crossing the sixty line, this man, living now inside his seventies, does something most of us have never been and will never be able to repeat. He, born in the poor Louisiana, in a forsaken town only his dwellers know of, could have easily become one of us, an attentive listener or a music expert, at most. But he became a music creator. In 2005, Buddy Guy was inducted in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame after being introduced by Eric Clapton and B.B. King. Sure, as a winner of 28 Grammies, Buddy Guy does not have to prove anything to anybody anymore. There is plenty of irony in the words Living Proof titling his new album. But the music contained here is for real, serious. All of it is sheer quality and style, which is what has always been expected from this performer.