Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Singing the Way I Felt: Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters

I wanted to definitely be a musician or a good preacher or a heck of a baseball player. I couldn't play ball too good - I hurt my finger, and I stopped that. I couldn't preach, and well, all I had left was getting into the music thing.

I was messing around with the harmonica... but I was 13 before I got a real good note out of it.

My grandmother, she say I shouldn't be playing. I should go to church. Finally, I say I'm going do this, I'm going do it. And she got where she didn't bother me about it.

I went to school, but they didn't give you too much schooling because just as soon as you was big enough, you get to working in the fields. I guess I was a big boy for my age.

Oh, I started out young. They handed me a cotton sack when I was about 8 years old. Give me a little small one, tell me to fill it up. I never did like the farm but I was out there with my grandmother, didn't want to get away from around her too far.

Of course that was my idol, Son House. I think he did a lot for the Mississippi slide down there.

I was always singing the way I felt, and maybe I didn't exactly know it, but I just didn't like the way things were down there-in Mississippi.

In 1943 Muddy Waters left ‘down there’ and moved ‘up’ to Chicago.

I wanted to get out of Mississippi in the worst way. Go back? What I want to go back for?

There's no way in the world I can feel the same blues the way I used to. When I play in Chicago, I'm playing up-to-date, not the blues I was born with. People should hear the pure blues - the blues we used to have when we had no money.

Muddy Waters went on to make some the most groundbreaking recordings in American music between the late 1940s and 1960s.  His massive voice and creening slide guitar playing, his natty dressing and his eye for talent (Little Walter, James Cotton, Otis Spann, Buddy Guy all got their breaks in Muddy’s band) made him the progenitor of classic electric blues. 

He was simply a Giant.

Tonight’s post is a 2 disc compilation of rarely heard outtakes and unrecorded tracks from his career with the famous Chess Records of Chicago. With early versions of some of his famous songs, live recordings from on the road and songs simply ignored at the time, these discs cover the entire span of his career as a performer in Chicago.  

There is nothing quite like a Muddy Waters’ led band in full tilt. It was a revolutionary sound.  But these recordings, often without a drummer or in a more stripped down setting are just as powerful. And still as fresh as the day they were recorded.

Spine tinglingly good stuff.

         Track Listing:
         Disc one
1-01 Hard Days
1-02 Muddy Jumps One
1-03 Burying Ground
1-04 You Gonna Need My Help
1-05 Rollin' And Tumblin', Part 2
1-06 Rollin' Stone
1-07 Country Boy
1-08 She's So Pretty
1-09 Oh Yeah
1-10 I Don't Know Why
1-11 I Want To Be Loved
1-12 I Got To Find My Baby
1-13 Crawlin' Kingsnake
1-14 Read Way Back
1-15 Tiger In Your Tank
1-16 Meanest Woman
1-17 I Got My Brand On You
1-18 Lonesome Room Blues
1-19 Messin' With The Man
1-20 Five Long Years
1-21 You Don't Have To Go
1-22 Elevate Me Mama

Listen here

                  Track Listing:
                  Disc Two
2-01 Thirteen Highway
2-02 Early In The Morning Blues
2-03 One More Mile
2-04 Come Back Baby (Let's Talk It Over)
2-05 My Dog Can't Bark
2-06 Roll Me Over Baby
2-07 Trouble In Mind
2-08 Trouble, Trouble
2-09 My Pencil Won't Write No More
2-10 Cold Up North
2-11 Streamline Woman
2-12 Rock Me
2-13 Standing Around Crying
2-14 Hoochie Coochie Man
2-15 Baby, Please Don't Go
2-16 You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had
2-17 I Feel Like Going Home
2-18 Where's My Woman Been
2-19 Rollin' And Tumblin'

Listen here.

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