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Muddy Waters – Sings Bill Big Broonzy (1960)

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Muddy Waters – Sings Bill Big Broonzy (1960)

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1. Tell Me Baby
2. Southbound Train
3. When I Get to Thinking play
4. Just a dream (On My Mind)
5. Double Trouble
6. I Feel So Good
7. I Done Got Wise
8. Mopper's Blues
9. Lonesome Road Blues play
10. Hey, Hey

Muddy Waters - vocals & guitar
James Cotton – harmonica
Pat Hare – guitar
Otis Spann – piano
Andrew Stephenson – bass
Francey Clay – drums
Willie Smith – drums

 

In 1960, when Muddy Waters recorded this album as a tribute to Big Bill Broonzy two years after Broonzy's death, he could be sure of Broonzy's approval. "Oh yeah, Muddy is a real singer for the Blues," Big Bill, the Mississippi foundation stone, was heard to say early on in Muddy Waters' career. Full of confidence after a Best Of compilation released on the Chess label in 1959 and his legendary appearance at the Newport Folk Festival, Muddy set down his own Broonzy songs. It goes almost without saying that such successful numbers as "I Feel So Good" and "Tell Me Baby" are overflowing with a Chicago feeling that gets right under your skin. Muddy's backing band includes Otis Spann, James Cotton and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith.

The American blues musician Muddy Waters was born McKinley Morganfield in Mississippi in 1913. His first recording was made for the Library of Congress who had sent a researcher to the Southern States to record examples of blues songs. On hearing the record Waters realised that being a musician was an achievable dream and set his sights on a career in music. Waters moved to Chicago in 1943 to pursue his dream. Waters began to establish himself with a series of recordings including "I Can't be Satisfied" and "I Feel Like Going Home", building his reputation by playing in local clubs. Waters hit an early high point with the tune, "Rollin' Stone", which went on to provide The Rolling Stones with their name.

Waters domination of the Chicago blues scene saw him be credited with the development of the Chicago sound and launching the careers of many of his contemporaries. By 1952, Waters band included blues men Little Walter Jacobs and Otis Span performing tracks such as "Hoochie Coochie Man", written by Willie Dixon. As their success grew, his band, keen to develop their own careers, began to leave and Waters found it difficult to replicate his sound with replacement performers. On a trip to the UK in 1972 to record with UK stars Steve Winwood, Rory Gallagher, Mitch Mitchell and Rick Grech, he is reported as saying "these boys are top musicians …but it ain't the Muddy Waters sound."

By 1977, Waters had gathered around him other top names from the blues field for his album Hard Again, which featured the Grammy award winning track, "Mannish Boy". The success of the album, and its follow-ups, including I'm Ready and Muddy Mississippi Water Live put Waters back in the limelight and saw his best record sales. In April 1983 Waters died in his sleep as a result of cancer, leaving behind him a legacy of influence on a long list of performers including Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. A new generation of fans were introduced to his music when Waters performance of "Mannish Boy" was used in a Levi Jeans ad and appeared on the soundtrack for the film Risky Business. Waters' career was recognised in 1992 with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2004 he was ranked No.17 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

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Last Updated (Friday, 07 June 2013 20:33)

 

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