Saturday, February 11, 2012

Classic Muddy Waters Found

1999 brought a treat to Blues Lovers when Blind Pig issued previously unissued recordings by Muddy waters, The Lost Tapes. I wrote the following review in 1999 and it likely was published in the DC Blues Society newsletter. This recording is still in print.

Blind Pig Records has something of a coup with the release of a previously unissued live performance from one of the greatest blues performers of all time, Muddy Waters. The Lost Tapes presents Muddy from two 1971 West Coast shows with his band that included George ‘Harmonica‘ Smith, pianist Pinetop Perkins, guitarists Sammy Lawhorn and Pee Wee Madison, along with bassist Calvin Jones and drummer Willie Smith. The opportunity to hear Waters performing some of the staples of his repertoire with one of his best bands makes this a recording that should be of interest to blues lovers.

Songs heard here include, Honey Bee, Hootchie Cootchie Man, Walking Thru the Park, Trouble No More, Just to Be With You, She‘s 19 Years Old, Mannish Boy, Crawlin‘ Kingsnake, and Got My Mojo Working. While some of the songs may be overly familiar, the opportunity to hear Waters belt out the vocals in a robust fashion while showcasing his stinging slide on Honey Bee and Long Distance Call, makes it worth it.

This was a fine band although one wishes 19 Years Old was a brief shorter (although Lawhorn and Smith sound quite good on their solos). While probably not as strong as the Live Newport Jazz Festival album that appeared on Chess, The Lost Tapes, certainly is an important addition to the discography of one of the premier blues artists of all time. Incidentally, this is an enhanced cd, but the enhanced features only operate under the Windows operating system.

Here is a video of Muddy with George 'Harmonica' Smith doing Walking Thru the Park.

1 comment:

Don O. said...

Actually, this had been previously issued by Topcat Records, who discovered the material. They did all the heavy lifting in terms of cleaning up the sound and doing the proper licensing for release, they then leased or sold the U.S. rights to Blind Pig. There is an accompanying 3 camera video shoot of these shows.