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Willie Buck: The Life I Love

John Barron By

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Although blues singer Willie Buck has been leading his own bands in Chicago for over forty years with some of the city's best sidemen, the Houston, Mississippi native is relatively unknown on a national level. Hopefully, this will change with the reissue of The Life I Love, his one and only full-length release from the early 1980s. Originally titled I Wanna Be Loved in a limited edition LP, the newly remastered version includes five bonus tracks, recorded live in 1984 at a Chicago club.

Buck's husky voice and smooth delivery draws influence from the classic Chicago blues shouters, most notably Muddy Waters. The singer channels the spirit and emulates the phrasing of Waters on down home gems such as "Champagne and Reefer," "I Want You to Love Me" "Nineteen Years Old" and "Got My Mojo Workin."

Like every exceptional blues singer, Buck uses patience and conviction to the lyrics to tell a convincing story. Proclamation through tenderness reels the listener in on a stirring version of B.B. King's "I Got a Right to Love My Baby" and Buck's own "There's a Time."

The first-rate sidemen on the disc include the legendary Meyers brothers—Louis on guitar and Dave on bass—guitarist John Primer, pianist Johnny "Big Moose" Walker and Little Mack Simmons on harmonica. Augmented with the energetic, grease-laden live cuts, The Life I Love is a treasure chest of blues gold.

Track Listing: She's All Right; How Can I Be Nice to You; I Live the Life I Love; I've Got a Right to Love My Baby; Champagne and Reefer; There's a Time; Everything's Gonna Be Alright; Sweet Sixteen; Found My Baby Gone; Nineteen Years Old; I Want You to Love Me; Got My Mojo Workin'; Sugar Sweet; Don't Go No Further; Checkin' Up On My Baby; Just To Be With You; Blues Had a Baby.

Personnel: Willie Buck: vocals; Louis Myers: guitar; John Primer: guitar; Little Mac Simmons: harmonica; Dimestore Fred: harmonica (2, 3, 5, 6, 8-12); Big Moose Walker: keyboards; Dave Myers: bass; Jerry Porter: drums (1-12); Jodie North: drums (13-17).

Title: The Life I Love | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Delmark Records

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