Skin Deep is the 2008 release by Buddy Guy. The album features The Memphis Horns, Willie Mitchell,Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Eric Clapton, Robert Randolph and Quinn Sullivan.
It’s erroneous to characterize this 2008 Buddy Guy release, his first in three years, as a comeback, since he’s never been gone. But between a spotlight stealing performance in Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Stones concert flick Shine a Light in the same year and the appearance of Skin Deep, Guy has returned to the crossover arena as the magnetic and dynamic blues journeyman he has always been. Drop the laser anywhere on these dozen tunes, all but five authored or co-penned by the Chicago guitarist, and it’s like a blast of hot wind in the face. Even with drummer Tom Hambrige’s somewhat slick production, Guy is in your face, spitting out words with strutting swagger and peeling off molten licks that leave smoldering scars. Guests such as Derek Trucks and Eric Clapton seem like an afterthought, yet the former’s sensitive slide work on the titular ballad brings a crying gospel quality to the song. Trucks’ wife, Susan Tedeschi, makes a vibrant vocal foil on the mid-tempo "Too Many Tears," an obvious single. Roots guitar fans will thrill at the six-string intensity of the ferocious slow blues "Out in the Woods" where Guy unleashes torrents of raw sound that make this disc so consistently riveting and a highlight in the legend’s extensive catalog. --Hal Horowitz
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