Buddy GUY & Junior WELLS – Last Time Around-Live At Legegends 1993

Buddy GUY & Junior WELLS – Last Time Around-Live At Legegends 1993

Blues

Last Time Around, Live At Legends is a fitting farewell to the late, great Junior Wells and his partnership, friendship and kinship with Buddy Guy that lasted decades. The album is a historic release in many ways. It reunites two blues legends who began their unique association in the 1950s. The album was recorded live in March 1993 at Buddy Guy’s world-famous Chicago blues mecca Legends, and it’s an acoustic document of many classic songs that made both Wells and Guy legends in their own right, such as “She’s Alright” and “I’ve Been There,” along with other classic blues standards such as “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “Key to the Highway,” all delivered with a looseness and power that define both Guy and Wells. It also marks the last time the two ever played together.
By Matthew Greenwald.
**
This in-concert CD caps Buddy Guy’s partnership with harp hero Junior Wells, who died of lymphoma in January 1998. The set, taped five years earlier at Guy’s Chicago nightclub, is an unabashedly sentimental journey back to their roots. It’s just Guy and Wells on acoustic guitar and harmonica, cutting up and playing their own standards like Guy’s “You Better Watch Yourself” and Wells’s signature “Hoodoo Man,” as well as classics by such influences as Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Jimmy Rogers, and even Ray Charles. Guy’s focused intensity is offset by Wells’s good-natured clowning, yet the performance never sacrifices its strong musicality.
By Ted Drozdowski.
**
The sound is excellent on this 1998 live album, and Buddy Guy and the late, great Junior Wells both lay down some of their best vocal performances on record.

Committed to tape in March, 1993, “Last Time Around – Live At Legends” documents the very last time Guy and Wells took the stage together. The arrangements are completely bare-bones, just Buddy Guy’s Gibson guitar and Junior Wells’ chromatic harp, but the performances are full of power and authority, and Guy’s expressive tenor voice and Junior Wells’ rougher baritone blend smoothly on songs like “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “What I’d Say”.
Virtually every song is a highlight, actually…Junior Wells plays muscular, amplified harp behind Guy’s lead vocal on “Key To The Highway” and “Oh Baby”, and takes the lead on “Hoodoo Man Blues”, and the duo share lead vocal duties on a great medley of songs from Jimmy Reed’s good-natured repertoire of blues n’ boogie, as well as a cover of Jimmy Rogers’ “That’s All Right”.

This is one great slice of classic, acoustic blues which would look at home on any real blues fan’s shelf.
I mean, why do we need synthesizers and computer sampling when two middle-aged men can sit down with just a harmonica and an acoustic guitar and make it sound this good?
By Docendo Discimus.
**
They last performed together in 1993, half a decade before Wells died, and they fit like an old pair of shoes, picking up on cues that haven’t even been delivered yet. The first “What’d I Say,” a highlight twice, takes off on the clicks, moans, squeals, hoots, and chicken squawks Wells cuts into Guy’s vocal, and again and again classic titles from their book and everyone else’s are adjusted to accommodate classic lines from the universe of blues readymades. Take this as a passport to that universe, but don’t expect anyone to sell you a map.
**
Buddy Guy- Guitar, Vocals
Junior Wells- Harmonica, Vocals
**
01. Seeds of Reed: Big Boss Man, Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby, I’m The Man Down There 4:24
02. That’s All Right 3:50
03. She’s All Right, Still A Fool 5:40
04. Hoochie Coochie Man 5:42
05. What I’d Say (It’s All Right)
06. Key to the Highway 4:35
07. I’ve Been There 8:40
08. Feelin’ Good, What I’d Say 4:03
09. Oh Baby, You Better Watch Yourself 6:32
10. Hoodoo Man Blues 3:13
**


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