Blues-rock guitar phenomenon Chris Buck talks about new album, “Write a Better Day”
If you’re not familiar with the name Chris Buck, chances are you won’t know it for very long. The 28-year-old Welsh guitarist is already well established in the UK, where he has been wreaking havoc for years with his blues-infused rock and soul training Buck & Evans. Along the way, Buck and the band received praise from their peers, including Iron Maiden’s Adrian Smith, former Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden and, most importantly, Slash, who has jammed on stage with Buck at over one occasion and called him “an amazing fucking guitarist.”
Now Buck & Evans, which also includes powerful singer and keyboardist Sally Ann Evans, bassist Dominic Hill and drummer Bob Richards, are set to release their debut album, Write a better day. Ranging from explosive blues workouts (“Sunrise”, “Sinking”) and slow-burning soul jams (“Slow Train”) to passionate piano ballads (“Change”) and single coil r & b (“Ain’t No “) Moonlight”), the 10-track album harnesses the band’s powerful and complex live sound and expertly translates it from stage and studio to loudspeaker.
“One caveat we had before we started recording was ‘We do it like we do live,’” Buck says of the creation. Write a better day. “It might not be perfect, but it’s real and spontaneous. For me, at least, that was the magic of every record that I grew up loving.
At Write a better dayThere is also a lot to love about Buck’s guitar playing, which is steeped in blues but at the same time unresponsive to its conventions. The guitarist has cut his teeth on giants like Eric Clapton and SRV – “the usual suspects,” he says – but also names players like Lindsey Buckingham, Mike Campbell and, of course, Slash, as major influences. And although there are a lot of tears, there are some moving lead works to be found on Write a better day (the kind of work that led a UK magazine to name Buck as the “World’s Best New Guitarist”) Buck’s strength lies in the fact that he primarily plays for song. Plus, he says he gets a lot of his inspiration not from other guitarists, but rather from singers.
“I’m a huge fan of artists like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding and Frank Sinatra,” he says. “I look at their phrasing and dynamics and I kind of try to sound like that in my guitar playing.”
In the end, Buck continues, “from the moment I first picked up a guitar, my goal was to make music that I would like to listen to. And the only thing I could hope for was that. is that with Buck & Evans there are enough people who also want to listen to this music.