December 22nd, 2007
I’ve had the blues lately and thought I’d share them with you in the form of McKinley Morganfield, a.k.a. Muddy Waters.
Muddy was born in 1915 and, after the death of his mother when he was three, he was raised in Clarksdale, Mississippi. At age 13 he began playing the harmonica and four years later, the guitar. In 1943 he moved to Chicago where he became a seminal figure in the blues scene there and helped electrify the music. He would go on to influence countless rock musicians such as The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix. I have vague memories as a 10 year-old boy of hearing of his death in 1983. I lived in Chicago at the time so it was all over the local media. For a good bio of Muddy, head over to his offical webpage.
While he is best-known for his work done at Chess Records in Chicago, I cannot recommend The Complete Plantation Recordings enough. They were recorded by Alan Lomax in 1941-42 at Muddy’s home on the Stovall Plantation. You’ll find some great country blues as well as interviews which will definitely be of interest to fans of Muddy’s music and those interested in folk culture generally alike.
This week’s show comes from a performance just prior to Muddy’s comeback led by Johnny Winter. It features his Chicago Blues Band and is from 11 April 1976 in Monthey, Switzerland. Sonically, this is an fantastic soundboard recording.
Muddy Waters – guitar, vocals
Luther “Guitar” Johnson – guitar, vocals
Pinetop Perkins – piano, vocals
Bob Margolin – guitar
Jerry Portnoy – harmonica
Calvin Jones – bass
Willie Smith – drums
Floyd`s Guitar Blues/Blue Lights
Going Down Slow
What`s The Matter With The Mill
Hoochie Coochie Man
Everything`s Gonna Be Alright
We are lucky to have some live footage from Muddy up at Youtube from later in 1976. The line-up is, as near as I can tell, the same as this week’s show. Here’s “I Got My Mojo Working”.