More than any other artist Muddy crystallised the way blues changed from a rural sound played solo and acoustic into an urban electric band sound - he was consummate master of both styles. In two short hours last night STAR BLUES played something from every stage in his long career - barely doing justice to his legacy. He also took a paternal role in developing young players, his band had several notable guitar, harp and piano men who all had decent careers as band leaders themselves. We played a few last night: Buddy Guy and James Cotton are still going strong with new projects; John Primer and Bob Margolin are still in great form and so on. The playlist speaks for itself.
In the mainstream reference books, the commentary skips directly from the two "Electric Mud" era projects to the Indian Summer success of the Blue Sky / Johnny Winter years. To take the same path you'd overlook the "Woodstock" album he did with Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield and a couple of Band members produced by the great Henry Glover. There was also a really nice two hander version of "Walkin Blues" Muddy did with Sammy Lawhorn as part of the "London Sessions". He'd found the same touch with Buddy Guy on "My Home Is In The Delta" from the pivotal "Folk Singer" album.
Muddy thought of Otis Spann as close family and there is a unique chemistry on all those sides that is audible - we had chance to play some other Otis Spann by dipping into the session he did for Sam Charters for "Chicago / The Blues / Today" set; the rare single Spann did in 1954 with BB King on guitar; the live gifts of the whole ensemble captured on vinyl and on film at the Newport Jazz festival in July 1960.
Those first sides done for John Lomax in 1941 on Stovall's Plantation almost didn't happen: when Muddy heard a white man was looking for him his first thought was a man from the Revue after his whisky still and he could so easily have run away. Every blues fan needs to have head those cuts and the ones Muddy did between 1947 and 1950, the power of his slide playing is immutable. "Little Geneva" was about his then girl friend Geneva Wade who became Geneva Morganfield for a quarter of a century.
Much of the background information for STAR BLUES came from Robert Gordan's fabulous biography called "Can't Be Satisfied" and I believe Thursday sees a new edition to mark the Centenary. The discographical work by Phil Wight and Fred Rothwell published in issue#200 of Blues & Rhythm magazine was invaluable.
Those two hours were a real privilege, it was all done in a trice. Back for more next Sunday at 10pm (BST) - until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you
|My Love Strikes Like Lightning||Muddy Waters||16||His Best 1956 - 1964||Muddy Waters||MCA/CHESS|
|Blow Wind Blow||Muddy Waters||2||Messin' With The Man||Muddy Waters||Essential Music and Marketing Ltd|
|why are people like that||muddy waters||1||woodstock album||muddy waters||chess|
|The Same Thing||Muddy Waters||19||His Best 1956 - 1964||Muddy Waters||MCA/CHESS|
|Still A Fool||Muddy Waters||10||His Best 1947 - 1955||Muddy Waters||MCA/CHESS|
|Walking Thru' The Park||Johnny WinterMuddy Water||9||Nothin' But The Blues||Johnny Winter||BEAT GOES ON|
|Little By Little||Junior Wells||2||Junior Wells 1957-1963||Junior Wells||Chief|
|Little Boy Blue||Walter Horton||8||Let Me Tell You About The Blues: Memphis||Various Artists||Fantastic Voyage|
|Mellow Down Easy||Little Walter (Aka Marion Walter Jacobs)||11||His Best||Little Walter (Aka Marion Walter Jacobs)||MCA/CHESS|
|Long Distance Call||Muddy Waters||4||Blues Guitar Box||Various Artists||SEQUEL|
|Walkin' Blues||Muddy Waters||16||Chicago - London||Muddy Waters||ROOTS|
|Close To You||Muddy Waters||15||The Roots Of The Doors||Various Artists||SNAPPER MUSIC|
|Telephone Blues||Little George Smith||2||Harmonica Ace - The Modern Masters||Little George Smith||ACE|
|West Helena Blues||Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet||5||Chicago / The Blues / Today!||Various Artists||ACE|
|Sometime I Wonder||Otis Spann's South Side Piano||14||Chicago / The Blues / Today!||Various Artists||ACE|
|Must Have Been The Devil||Otis Spann||15||Best Of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour Volume 2||Various Artists||CHROME|
|I Feel So Good||Muddy Waters||6||Live At Newport||Muddy Waters||CHARLY|
|I's Be Troubled||Muddy Waters||3||Complete Plantation Recordings||Muddy Waters||MCA/CHESS|
|Little Geneva||Muddy Waters||8||Rollin' Stone||Muddy Waters||CHESS|
|Gypsy Woman||Muddy Waters||1||Rollin' Stone||Muddy Waters||CHESS|
|rolling stone||muddy waters||4||rollin' stone||muddy waters||chess|
|I'm Gonna Murder My Baby||Pat Hare||20||Let Me Tell You About The Blues: Memphis||Various Artists||Fantastic Voyage|
|That's All Right||Jimmy Rogers||3||Chess Blues Classics 1947-1956||Various Artists||MCA/CHESS|
|my home is in the delta||Muddy Waters||1||My Home Is In The Delta||Muddy Waters||BLUES ENCORE|
|got my mojo working||Muddy Waters||9||Rollin' Stone||Muddy Waters||CHESS|