Muddy Waters & Johnny Winter – Mean Ole ‘Frisco Blues.
Muddy Waters, was born McKinley Morganfield on this day, April 04 in 1913 in Rolling Fork, Mississippi. He grew up in Clarksdale, on Stovall’s Plantation, listening to the music of Robert Johnson and Son House, his idol.
He moved to Chicago in 1943 and although it was not until 1947 that his recording career took off in earnest, he and his band, changed music forever, forging the template for what would become known as “Chicago Blues”
From his breakthrough hit ‘I Can’t Be Satisfied’ b/w ‘I Feel Like Going Home’ in 1948 Waters maintained his popularity with his core audience and in the 1960’s was embraced by the emerging white artists and their fans, reaching a wider audience than most of his peers.
Muddy’s almost thirty-year tenure with Chess Records came to a close in 1975 but within a year, he was signed to a new label and added a fitting capstone to his recorded legacy.
The LP was recorded under difficult circumstances, with Waters’ health failing and the band in a bitter dispute with Waters’ manager over money.
Nevertheless, numbers with smaller ensembles, such as this one are a joy.
Taken from Waters’ final studio recording, 1980’s “King Bee”.
A wonderful arrangement of the Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup number – with Johnny Winter on guitar and Waters playing slide; Calvin Jones on bass; “Pine Top” Perkins on piano and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith on drums the number has a rock-a-billy feel, harkening back to Elvis Presley’s recording of the Arthur Crudup classic.