"Buddy Guy & Junior Wells Play The Blues" is one of the duo's very best albums. Two tracks are Junior Wells-less, recorded by Buddy Guy with the J. Geils Band; the remaining eight songs feature a star-studded backing band which includes pianist Dr. John on several tracks, and some guy named Eric someting. Capton, something like that.
The song list is excellent, and so is the band, which sounds tight and supple, never threatening to overwhelm the two stars.
There are none of the erratic vocal performances or rambling solos that sometimes plagued the duo's live shows (this album is a studio recording). Junior Wells sizzles, laying down some great vocal performances. Buddy Guy's solos are controlled and disciplined, yet strikingly effective in up-tempo and ballad situations, and saxist A.C. Reed provides some soulful fills and gritty solos.
Among the highlights are a sizzling remake of T-Bone Walker's "T-Bone Shuffle", and a swinging "My Baby She Left Me".
Guy does a fine "Bad Bad Whiskey" with an otherwise very discreet Eric Clapton playing slide guitar, and he is entirely credible in a grinding Otis Redding mode on the southern soul stomper "A Man Of Many Words", and the up-tempo "This Old Fool". Junior Wells does a great rendition of "Come On In This House" and his Vanguard classic "Messin' With The Kid"
This CD certainly deserves its place among the other tremendous items in the Rhino/Atlantic R&B Masters series. Definitely recommended.