Sunday, September 16, 2012

#57: Muddy Waters - Muddy Waters at Newport (1960)

Muddy Waters is amazing. This album made me reconsider all of the previous scores I gave to past blues/jazz albums. Before this album I would rate it based upon how good it was - if I didn't dig it, it didn't matter. I can hear when an album is really solid - anyone can. However, this album is not only influential, but the music is phenomenal and it hits you in the chest. This is the blues at it's best and if it's not - I'd love to hear something better. What's even crazier? This was recorded live.

I Got My Mojo Working
Not all blues songs are made equal. Muddy keeps it clean and fresh throughout the album with varying tempos and feels. But It's all blues. "I got my mojo working but it just don't work on you." This is beyond words it's just so damn good. I hear so many of my all time favorites in Muddy's music. There's no way John Popper has never heard this album. It has so much energy, how could anyone in the crowd resist going nuts? It's so good that after the song - they play it again.

(I'm Your) Hoochi Coochie Man
He does the blues better than anyone I've ever heard and it's not even close. Clapton's 'Unplugged' album has always been my go to blues album for musicality and the Blues Brothers for energy. They both have been dethroned. Muddy's band is just as talented as he, they're phenomenal but still... Muddy is the man. He's go the soul, he's got the pain, he's got the confidence, he's got everything.

Soon Forgotten
The piano is ridiculous. It's covered in soul and blues and it makes some of the best sounds out of a piano ever made. The harmonica plays so well off of everything, no one steps on each other's toes which is really is amazing considering all that's going on. Sure, the drums are simple but they get it done. I can't say this enough: this is the blues, this is the best I've ever heard.

All in all, I can't help but wonder how anyone who was born in this era didn't grow up wanting to be Muddy Waters. I love me some Stevie Ray Vaughan and I can't help but think that Muddy left a huge impression on him. This is one of the greatest albums of all time. I'm just in disbelief, I didn't know that blues could be this good - if I ever get my hands on a time machine the first stop will be going back to witness this performance.

Tomorrow's album: Michael Buble's Crazy Love.

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