The finest Alligator tracks from the late genius of pyrotechnic blues-rock guitar. Full of hard-edged blues and explosive rockers. Includes When A Guitar Plays The Blues, Peter Gunn and two previously unreleased tracks. Guests Delbert McClinton and Otis Clay.
Roy Buchanan, lead guitar and vocal 5, 10, 14, with: Vocal: Johnny Sayles 2 Otis Clay 7 Delbert McClinton 9
Roy Buchanan, lead guitar and vocal 5, 10, 14, with: Vocal: Johnny Sayles 2 Otis Clay 7 Delbert McClinton 9 Kanika Kress 12 Rhythm Guitar: Criss Johnson 3, 4, 6, 7, 14, 15, and 2nd solo on Hawaiian Punch Donald Kinsey 1, 2, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16 Keyboards: Bill Heid 3, 4, 6, 7, 14, 15 Stan Szelest 1, 2, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16 Bass: Larry Exum Drums: Morris Jennings
Tracks 3, 4, 6, 7, 14 & 15 produced by Roy Buchanan, Bruce Iglauer and Dick Shurman at Streeterville Studios, Chicago, IL, 1985.
Tracks 1, 8, 9, 10 & 13 produced by Roy Buchanan, Bruce Iglauer and Dick Shurman at Streeterville Studios, Chicago, IL, 1986.
Tracks 2, 5, 11, 12 & 16 produced by Roy Buchanan, Bruce Iglauer, Dick Shurman and Justin Niebank at Streeterville Studios, Chicago, IL, 1987.
Associate Producer: Donald Kinsey 2, 5, 11, 12, & 16
Production Assistants: Donald Kinsey & Justin Niebank 1, 8, 9, 10 & 13
Engineered and mixed by Justin Niebank
Assistants: Brian Poer and David Axelbaum 2, 5, 11, 12
Additional Mixing: Tim Hale 2, 5, 11, 12
Blues For Jimmy Nolen mixed by Justin Niebank at Streeterville Studios, Chicago, IL, 1985.
The Last Word mixed by David Axelbaum at Chicago Recording Company, Chicago, IL, 2000.
Mastered at MonsterDisc, Chicago, IL by Brian Jensen and Bruce Iglauer
Deluxe Edition Series produced by Bob DePugh , Bruce Iglauer and David Forte
Design by David Forte
Cover, book back and inside inlay Photos by Lisa Siefert
Back inlay Photo by Larry Kodani
Roy Buchanan was a genius of electric guitar, melding blues, rock, country, gospel, jazz and R&B into a sound that ranged from wildly flamboyant to beautifully melodic. Roy created a vocabulary of guitar techniques that influenced hundreds of players, and raised the bar for guitarists everywhere.
Although he grew up in rural California, Roy called himself an Arkansas gully-jumper. If you saw The Grapes Of Wrath, that was my family. His father was a sharecropper and an intensely religious Pentecostal preacher. His parents were dirt poor, but when he showed interest in playing country lap steel guitar, his parents scraped up the money for lessons. As a teenager, Roy switched to Fender Telecaster and his musical tastes turned to blues and early rock 'n' roll. Fascinated by R&B and blues music on the radio, he left home at 15 to seek out the legendary bandleader and dj Johnny Otis. Jimmy Nolen, Johnny's groundbreaking guitarist, took young Roy under his wing, and Roy soon became an underground legend among musicians. He was recruited by rockers like Dale "Susie-Q" Hawkins and Canada's Ronnie Hawkins. The Buchanan trademark was his amazing use of controlled harmonics, combined with blinding machine gun runs, wild bends, and crazed sound effects. Yet he was equally at home playing melodic blues ballads, echoing lap steel guitar licks.
Roy "broke" in 1971 with a TV special called The Greatest Unknown Guitarist In The World. It was a short step to major label contracts and gold records. Guitar heroes like Jeff Beck worshipped Roy; he was even offered a spot in The Rolling Stones. But with big record deals came commercial pressure. His producers took him further and further from the blues and roots rock he loved. By the early 1980s, a disillusioned Roy was back to playing in clubs, swearing that he'd never record again unless he had creative freedom in the studio. That meant getting back to the blues, so Alligator Records was a perfect fit.
We brought Roy to Chicago, to cut with the cream of blues players and vocalists, who were astounded by his talent. When asked how he could rip out such wild licks while looking so calm, Roy replied, "Yeah, but I'm screaming inside." Roy's three Alligator albums were the last and proudest recordings of his career. "Since coming to Alligator," he declared, "I'm finally making the records I've always wanted to make." Roy's tragic death in 1989 cut short one of the most creative periods in an endlessly creative career.