"A fine album by Roy Buchanan, a guitar hero who never quite made the big time. Exquisitely produced by Alligator Records, Roy gets a chance to stretch out and show what he can do with a guitar. On the opening track, he tries to make his guitar sound like a church organ, it seems, and he almost pulls it off ! The one thing about Roy Buchanan is his singing voice : it just doesn't do the trick. Often he just seems to say the lyrics as opposed to sing them. He brings in a couple of guests to sing on a few tracks, and these add further to the unease about Roy's own voice. His guitar playing is tops, though ! Listen to tracks like "Mrs. Pressure" (his former guitar teacher ! What's in a name ?) or "Sneaking Godzilla through the alley" (great title !) and be convinced. This is the first of 3 albums Roy made for Alligator, and they seemed to set him on the track to greater recognition. Sadly, though, all came to an end when he was arrested one night for being drunk in a public place and took his own life in his cell. A sad end to a great guitar-player's life."
William j Christian | dover, PA. United States | 07/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Roy Buchanan was one of the best axe slingers of all time.Why he never got the reconition he truly deserved is beyond comprehension.I've had this album for a couple of years,and it sounds as fresh today as it did when i first bought it.From the title track (When a guitar plays the blues),to the last song on the album (hawaiian punch).this album is great.Being the first album that ROY produced and mixed himself,he said it felt like it was his first recod.And in his own words,this album is really me.he also thought this was the best album he had ever released.If you like great blues then this is a must own album."
A Great Example of Later Buchanan
Jorge Barbarosa | the back 9 | 07/16/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Can anything really compare to Roy Buchanan's early output? This one was produced later in his life... when he was a seasoned professional...and it definately has it's gems. Alligator records should be applauded for letting cut loose and do his thing, a great testimonial to his style and abilities. I used to sneak in (fake ID) and watch Roy at "My Mother's Place" in Washington DC, I wonder if "My Fathers Place" in NYC were of the same ownership? Those were nights I will never forget. If you are into the DC music scene of the early 70's, check out some Danny Gatton records as well...between Roy and Danny, DC auido philes were greatly blessed with these two fine talents."
Darryl Dickson-Carr | Dallas, TX USA | 12/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was introduced to this CD during my freshman year in college, about a year or so after it was released. One of the audiophiles in my dorm had a great collection of jazz and blues CDs, and this was one of his prizes. One day he played "Sneaking Godzilla through the Alley" at high volume, and I was hooked. The first lick Buchanan plays is sufficient to wake the dead; the remainder of the track--and there's a lot of it--would kill 'em all again. The rest of the CD ain't too shabby, either. This is easily one of the most underrated CDs in any genre of the mid-80s."
Keith Moonshine | Roanoke, VA | 01/24/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I too, applaud Alligator records for bringing Roy back to recording in the 1980s. Roy's pyrotechnics are definitely well represented on this disc, but having seen Roy play live and having owned most of his catalog for many years, I have to say this is not one of his best overall. Roy played loud most of the time, sometimes a bit too loud for my tastes, and the production on this album is over the top. Moreover, Roy may have gotten a little carried away showing off his incredible bag of guitar tricks, thus there is little warmth or intamacy here. Younger listeners might find this album more accessible, initially, because the production has a more modern sound, but after a few listens and your ears are blown off, you will want to delve into Roy's work from the 70s, virtually all of which is highly recommended. His first album, "Roy Buchanan" is without a doubt my favorite for many reasons,. Although much of it has a country flavor that may not appeal to hard-core blues or rock fans, it also contains some very intense blues soloing - it would not be a Roy album without it. Roy II does not seem to be available now commercially, but I recommend looking for a used copy. You're Not Alone is also great - more of a rock album with outstanding covers of Neil Young and Joe Walsh."