Sunday, 31 March 2013

STAR BLUES on 31st March 2013 at 22:00 (Muddy Waters special)

I expected to see more in the mainstream press on the imminent centenary of the birth of McKinley Morganfield (4th April 2013). For many years his birth year was shown as 1915 (a date given out in a Chess press release circa 1954) but even Wikipedia has caught up with the research and evidence proving the earlier actual date.

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 LightningMuddy Waters16His Best 1956 - 1964Muddy WatersMCA/CHESS
Blow Wind BlowMuddy Waters2Messin' With The ManMuddy WatersEssential Music and Marketing Ltd
why are people like thatmuddy waters1woodstock albummuddy waterschess
The Same ThingMuddy Waters19His Best 1956 - 1964Muddy WatersMCA/CHESS
Still A FoolMuddy Waters10His Best 1947 - 1955Muddy WatersMCA/CHESS
Walking Thru' The ParkJohnny WinterMuddy Water9Nothin' But The BluesJohnny WinterBEAT GOES ON
Little By LittleJunior Wells2Junior Wells 1957-1963Junior WellsChief
Little Boy BlueWalter Horton8Let Me Tell You About The Blues: MemphisVarious ArtistsFantastic Voyage
Mellow Down EasyLittle Walter (Aka Marion Walter Jacobs)11His BestLittle Walter (Aka Marion Walter Jacobs)MCA/CHESS
Long Distance CallMuddy Waters4Blues Guitar BoxVarious ArtistsSEQUEL
Walkin' BluesMuddy Waters16Chicago - LondonMuddy WatersROOTS
Close To YouMuddy Waters15The Roots Of The DoorsVarious ArtistsSNAPPER MUSIC
Telephone BluesLittle George Smith2Harmonica Ace - The Modern MastersLittle George SmithACE
West Helena BluesJimmy Cotton Blues Quartet5Chicago / The Blues / Today!Various ArtistsACE
Sometime I WonderOtis Spann's South Side Piano14Chicago / The Blues / Today!Various ArtistsACE
Must Have Been The DevilOtis Spann15Best Of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour Volume 2Various ArtistsCHROME
I Feel So GoodMuddy Waters6Live At NewportMuddy WatersCHARLY
I's Be TroubledMuddy Waters3Complete Plantation RecordingsMuddy WatersMCA/CHESS
Little GenevaMuddy Waters8Rollin' StoneMuddy WatersCHESS
Gypsy WomanMuddy Waters1Rollin' StoneMuddy WatersCHESS
rolling stonemuddy waters4rollin' stonemuddy waterschess
I'm Gonna Murder My BabyPat Hare20Let Me Tell You About The Blues: MemphisVarious ArtistsFantastic Voyage
That's All RightJimmy Rogers3Chess Blues Classics 1947-1956Various ArtistsMCA/CHESS
my home is in the deltaMuddy Waters1My Home Is In The DeltaMuddy WatersBLUES ENCORE
got my mojo workingMuddy Waters9Rollin' StoneMuddy WatersCHESS
Created: 31/03/2013 23:58:16 

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