Monday, August 18, 2014

Mud Morganfield's Tribute to His Father - Muddy Waters

If one closes one eyes while listening to For Pops | A Tribute to Muddy Waters the new Severn Records release by Mud Morganfield & Kim Wilson, one might think one is listening to Muddy Waters himself. The idea for the album came from folks suggesting to Severn that after they released albums by Mud Morganfield and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Severn had to get Mud and Kim together. So they were asked and agreed.

In putting an album together, they put together a band of Billy Flynn and Rusty Zinn on guitars, Barrelhouse Chuck on piano, Steve Gomes on bass and Robb Stupka on drums to support Mud’s vocals and Kim’s harmonica. Then it was decided to do an album of Muddy’s songs and selected a mix of both well known and lesser known songs associated with Muddy Waters. The recording was done live with everyone in the same room.

Included are 14 renditions of such Muddy Waters recordings as Gone To Main Street; Just To Be With You; Still a Fool; She's Got It; I Love the Life I Live, I Live The Life I Love; Blow Wind Blow; Nineteen Years Old; and Trouble No More. This is a marvelous backing band with Kim Wilson at the top of his game and Mud (Muddy’s oldest son) sounding so much like his father throughout these solid re-creations of the originals.

As noted, listening to this is almost like listening to a Muddy Waters recording, and folks have been copying Muddy’s music from over six decades from Junior Brooks and Louisiana Red to this present album. At the same time, no matter how enjoyable it is to listen to this album, it doesn’t replace the original recordings. No one has more right to perpetuate his father’s legacy than Mud Morganfield.  As good as the recreations here are, this listener wishes interpretative liberties had been taken with Muddy Waters’ music.

I received my review copy from a publicist. Here is Mud Morganfield in performance.

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