Wednesday, November 21, 2012

'King Bee' - The Final Muddy Waters Album

After a long career that lasted from the 40's, Muddy Waters recorded his last album in 1981, with the title "King Bee", after a song written by Slim Harpo, which is also the first track. This would be the third studio album recorded under the Blue Sky/Sony label with guitarist Johnny Winter (the first being Hard Again and the second I'm Ready).

However, not everything was rosy as previous albums. By this time, Muddy's health was beginning to deteriorate and due to this, less live performances were made. This didn't fare well with his bandmates (including Bob Margolin, a great guitarist in his own right), because they needed the gigs to make money. The sessions were filled with tension, and to this, not many new songs were recorded. Instead, unused material from Hard Again were used alongside the couple of songs that were made.

This reflects the overall quality of the music, even though it sounds superb, but the rawness found in the first two seems absent. This one feels more somber... especially on songs like "Sad, Sad Day" which features an amazing guitar solo by Johnny Winter.

There's an acoustic "throwback" number as well, on "Feel Like Going Home" with Winter playing on a National Steel resonator guitar; the final result is not as tight as "Can't be Satisfied" from Hard Again. (This song was used from those sessions).

One of the new standout tracks is "Champagne and Reefer", which Muddy wrote to please the younger crowds (See the video below).

On 2004 Deluxe Edition, 2 more tracks are added being: "I Won't Go On" and "Clouds in my Heart" which add more value.

I wouldn't recommend to start your collection from here, but it's still got some great blues.


  1. I'm A King Bee
  2. Too Young To Know
  3. Mean Old Frisco Blues 
  4. Forever Lonely
  5. I Feel Like Going Home 
  6. Champagne & Reefer
  7. Sad, Sad Day
  8. (My Eyes) Keep Me In Trouble
  9. Deep Down in Florida #2 
  10. No Escape From The Blues
  11. (bonus track) I Won't Go On
  12. (bonus track) Clouds in my Heart

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