Buddy Guy & Junior Wells Messin' with the Kids / Live at the 1974 Montreux

The partnership between these two stalwarts of Chicago blues royalty is the stuff of legend. Thankfully, this oft-bootlegged show has been officially re-released to help propagate the tale. Although both originally met in ’54 and played together at Newport in ’67, it was not until they opened for the Stones in ’70 that their careers — as a duo — gained momentum. In fact, this project was helmed by no less than Bill Wyman who had already organised a "pick-up band” consisting of Pinetop Perkins (piano), Terry Taylor (guitar) and Dallas Taylor (drums) — Wyman on bass — to back Muddy Waters at the same show. Because they were available, they backed Guy and Wells at the same time. Despite having had no time to rehearse, things meshed nicely across these ten songs — the chemistry between Wells and Guy carrying the show as the nervous tension between the players helped pique their performance. As Buddy shouted out the keys, they’d tumble through chestnuts from their respective recordings: Wells’ signature "Messin’ with the Kid” and "Hoodoo Man Blues” to Guy’s "Ten Years Ago.” It’s the musical dialogue between these two giants and friends that defines the magic here. The fact that something so powerful can come of such spontaneity — if not chaos — defies belief. (Sanctuary)