Classic Album: BUDDY GUY’S SLIPPIN’ IN (1994)

by Todd Beebe

The 1990’s were a great time for the Blues as it re-emerged strongly in the public eye. Acts such as Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble and Eric Clapton were bringing the music to a wider audience. Buddy Guy had been a major influence on many of the key players who were now bringing the music back in a strong way and he was right there along side of them carrying the torch once again as he had done for many many years!

1991’s “Damn right I’ve got the Blues” was an amazing album for Buddy and was his Silvertone Records debut. 1993’s “Feels like rain” was also great and showed Buddy collaborate with many guests, once again bringing the Blues to a wider audience. He kept that momentum flowing for 1994’s “Slippin’ In” which showed Buddy Guy doing his thing and doing it phenomenal!

slippininProduced and Engineered by the great Eddie Kramer who manned the board for Jimi Hendrix and countless others, Buddy Guy was backed by a stellar cast of musicians that included Stevie Ray Vaughan band mates Tommy Shannon on Bass, Reese Wynans on Keyboards and Chris Layton on Drums. The album kicks off with a classic uptempo Blues, “I Smell Trouble” that charges out of the gate showing that Buddy Guy is here to play the Electric Blues at its finest!

“Please Don’t Drive Me Away” is up next and instantly Kramer’s influence is heard. Buddy guy uses a Cry Baby pedal to scream and wail away on his Stratocaster, showing the world where the great Jimi Hendrix originally got his influence from!

“7-11” slows things down for a minute. This is a great slow Blues that shows that Buddy has a very mellow and tender side to him as well as he caresses notes from his guitar and digs in with pure emotion. This tune also showcases the great Johnnie Johnson on Piano. His solo in this song is a textbook example of how it’s done! Johnson laid down the keys for Chuck Berry back in the day and the man is in full power on this tune as well.

“Someone Else Is Steppin’ In (Slippin’ Out Slippin’ In)” may be the definitive cut on the “Slippin’ In” album. It is still a staple in Buddy’s live shows in 2015 and its become a trademark song that is associated with him wherever he plays.

The Jimmy Reed classic “Shame, Shame, Shame” is next and Buddy makes it all his own as he keeps the classic melody of the song but gives it the great Buddy Guy touch with some great vocals and guitar soloing once again!

Buddy Guy by Anthony Moser_2“Love Her With A Feeling” is a classic shuffle Blues that includes yet more soloing from the master. There’s not a bad note played on this album, but this may be THE Guitar solo on the record, as Guy plays with reckless abandon!

“Little-Dab-A-Doo” is an original slow Blues tune that once again drives you to listen to the great Johnnie Johnson whose Piano licks can be heard running in the background throughout the entire song. Classic stuff!

“Someone Else Is Steppin’ In (Slippin’ Out Slippin’ In)” may be the definitive cut on the “Slippin’ In” album. It is still a staple in Buddy’s live shows in 2015 and its become a trademark song that is associated with him wherever he plays.

Charles Brown’s “Trouble Blues” is up next and slows things down, once again proving that Buddy Guy can knock things into the stratosphere, Hendrix style, then come back down to Earth and go old school as well. The man can play the Blues with the best of them and Rock with the best of them as well!

It’s a great tune to end with and shows that Buddy Guy is always trying to use the Blues to spread the truth and bring out the good in the World.

Speaking of Rock, “Man of many words” is the closest thing to a rock tune on this album. A great uptempo number, it reminds me at times of a forgotten Otis Redding jam. Yet again Guy shows he is a true Blues man but has enough of an edge to prove to everyone why so many Rock and Roll artists call him an influence too.

“Don’t Tell Me About The Blues” is a mid tempo Blues that lays down the law on how many Blues artists feel day after day, paying their dues and playing the music they love without selling out. Lyrically this leads us right into “Cities Need Help” which is a song of hope for the cities. It’s a great tune to end with and shows that Buddy Guy is always trying to use the Blues to spread the truth and bring out the good in the World. Tracks like this and “Skin Deep” from the 2008 album of the same name are great examples of how Buddy Guy uses the Blues in such a positive way. It’s a classic finale to a classic album: Buddy Guy’s “Slippin’ In”!

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Todd Beebe

Todd Beebe

Todd Beebe is a full time musician/teacher in the Chicago area and a staff writer at BG: Blues And Music News. His first exposure to music was hearing his Grandfather's bands playing Traditional Country music by the likes of Hank Williams Sr., The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers. Tracing the roots of that music lead him to his love of the Blues. Todd is available for private guitar instruction at All About Music, Inc. in Mokena, IL. 708-479-0440 www.AllAboutMusicMokena.com For more info contact him @ 708-214-6459 or visit www.ToddBeebeMusic.com.

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