…from today’s perspective the tight pulse of “You Gotta Let Me Know” must be a perfect example of how sexed-up – and at the same time, intelligent – the marriage of blues to disco can be, Buchanan’s six strings going for filigree groans, while keyboard player Paul Jacobs’ vocal attack feels more gracious than wild here. The disposition will be reversed with the title track where Roy’s reserve is lifted to set his liquid licks and Paul’s roar and piano roll free, although there’s also mellifluous, if muscular, suppleness to “It Should’ve Been Me” which could easily challenge Gladys Knight’s version of this classic.
Just as scintillating, “Lack Of Funk” may focus on the era-favored rhythm and fail, had it not been for the hot handling of a fretboard and the “Entrance Of The Gladiators” quote close to the song’s coda, and “Dr. Rock & Roll” is too glossy and superfluous for Buchanan – saved only by his group’s vigor. That’s what’s missing from the unhurried reading of “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” whose dancefloor destination feels good nevertheless, yet the master’s tone on “Secret Love” demonstrates enchanting transparency, his Telecaster imitating mandolin and pedal steel along the way. Further down the line, “My Sonata” – one of the two instrumentals Roy penned for this project – embraces penumbral romance, albeit not to the extent of “Blues For Gary” that’s deeply emotional, especially when upper regions of the neck are caressed.
It’s clear what influence the number’s writer had on its hero’s namesake Moore, and this reissue bonus, a 30-minute interview with Buchanan, explains many other things. Thankfully, Roy would receive another chance to let his guitar do the talking, but “My Babe” remains a testimony to the greatness of the master’s worst works. ****
DMME.net (September 2018)
Roy Buchanan’s 1980 album My Babe has been unavailable for over 25 years so this is a most welcome release from Angel Air. Produced by Roy himself, the album featured vocalist Paul Jacobs who Roy had brought in to front the band so, although there’s plenty of his solos throughout, there are just the three trademark Buchanan instrumentals. ‘Secret Love’ is the Doris Day hit while his own quite beautiful ‘My Sonata’ is dedicated to Judy, his wife of 20 years. The lengthy (8 1/2 minute) ‘Blues To Gary’ was record after label executive Gary Marx had encouraged Roy to add what Gary called “a Roy Buchanan rocking blues solo” to the album. This gives Roy the chance to stretch out as only Roy could.
Pipeline Magazine (September 2018)
Roy Buchanan was an American guitarist and blues musician from Arkansas who pioneered the Fender Telecaster sound to acclaim from many fellow guitarists including Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton…Originally released in 1980, ‘My Babe’ is now available on this budget priced CD – the other musicians on the album are Paul Jacobs, Gordon Johnson, Ron Foster, Dan Brubeck and Richard Crooks…
Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (August 2018)
“My Babe” was the eighth album of Roy’s long and decidedly patchy career, first released in 1980 and boasting some typically eloquent instrumentals such as “Blues For Gary” and “My Sonata” alongside soulful covers of Little Walter’s “My Babe” and Yvonne Fair’s Motown classic, “It Should Have Been Me”.
Kevin Bryan, regional newspapers (August 2018)
…the opening salvo of “You Gotta Let Me Know” is a mighty affair, a New Wave vibe bursting through a staccato pulse and memorable chorus. With the fret abuse matched by some gloriously OTT vocals from keyboard player Paul Jacobs, it’s a full on introduction to My Babe. And one which this album’s title track continues to boogie on into the night with. This time it’s a piano and organ combination that lays the foundations for this funky slice of honest rock and again Jacobs proves a stunning vocal foil for the stinging guitar work that you know will knock your socks off.
Sea Of Tranquility (August 2018)
Guitar-wise, Buchanan was a technical wizard, his playing characterised by pinch harmonic ‘whistles’ and tonal effects obtained solely from his technique rather than external ‘effects’…This reissue of an album that was only ever available on CD for a short time in the States is most interesting for the added 30 minute contemporaneous promotional interview (also including some of the tracks)…Thirty years on from his untimely death, this is a timely reissue.
Get Ready to ROCK! (July 2018)