Monday, February 16, 2009
Muddy Waters - Got my Mojo Workin'
McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1915 – April 30, 1983), better known as Muddy Waters, was an American blues musician and is generally considered "the Father of Chicago blues". He is also the actual father of blues musicians Big Bill Morganfield and Larry "Mud Morganfield" Williams. Considered one of the greatest bluesmen of all time, Muddy Waters was a huge inspiration for the British beat explosion in the 1960s and considered by many to be one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. In 2004 Waters was ranked #17 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
His influence is tremendous, over a variety of music genres: blues, rhythm and blues, rock 'n' roll, folk, jazz, and country. Waters also helped Chuck Berry get his first record contract. His 1958 tour of England marked possibly the first time amplified, modern urban blues was heard there, although on his first tour he was the only one amplified. His backing was provided by Englishman Chris Barber's trad jazz group. (One critic retreated to the toilets to write his review because he found the band so loud.)
The Rolling Stones named themselves after Waters' 1950 song "Rollin' Stone", (also known as "Catfish Blues", which Jimi Hendrix covered as well). Cream covered "Rollin' and Tumblin'" on their 1966 debut album Fresh Cream, as Eric Clapton was a big fan of Muddy Waters when he was growing up, and Waters' music influenced Clapton's music career. The song was also covered by Canned Heat at the legendary Monterey Pop Festival and later adapted by Bob Dylan on the album Modern Times. One of Led Zeppelin's biggest hits, "Whole Lotta Love", is lyrically based upon the Waters hit "You Need Love", written by Willie Dixon. Dixon wrote some of Muddy Waters' most famous songs, including "I Just Want to Make Love to You" (a big radio hit for Etta James, as well as the 1970s rock band Foghat), "Hoochie Coochie Man," which The Allman Brothers Band famously covered, and "I'm Ready", which was covered by Humble Pie. In 1993, Paul Rodgers released the album Muddy Water Blues: A Tribute to Muddy Waters, on which he covered a number of Muddy Waters songs, including "Louisiana Blues", "Rollin' Stone", "Hoochie Coochie Man" and "I'm Ready" (among others) in collaboration with a number of famous guitarists such as Brian May and Jeff Beck.