Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Legacy of Muddy Waters

The 4th of April marked the 101st birthday of McKinley Morganfield, better known as Muddy Waters.

Muddy Waters is my hands down favorite bluesman of all time. His music is where I draw my musical inspiration from, like the hundreds of others.

Like many bluesmen before him, Muddy traveled to Chicago from his native Mississippi. But it was his new 'electric' sound that brought him to the public and national light. Before this, music was all acoustic, and in live situations the guitar (and by extension the bass) was near inaudible over the drums and a horn section. Once he tried plugging in his guitar through an amplifier, the sound of the blues was changed forever. But it was also his Mississippi Delta upbringing that also gave his blues a raw feel. His use of amplification is cited as, the  missing link between Delta Blues and Rock 'N' Roll.

I Can't Be Satisfied, released in 1948, arguably 'the song' that changed music.  

Soon enough, it was hit after hit during the 50's, and his music defined the Chicago blues, such as Hoochie Cootchie Man, Rolling Stone, Mannish Boy, You Shook Me, and many more. His music and the evolution of rock n' roll dominated the scenes in the 1960's and 1970's. You owe him for many of the British bands of the day, like The Rolling Stones, Clapton, and Led Zeppelin. He has 3 albums in the Top 500 Albums of all Time

He has won Grammys, has a Lifetime Achievement Award and is a Rock n' Roll Hall of Famer. I could go on forever.

Here's the first track off of Muddy's comeback Grammy winning album 'Hard Again', featuring a new and dazzling version of Mannish Boy. Happy birthday Muddy!

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