Monday, February 16, 2009
Muddy Waters - You Can't Loose What Your Never Had
On November 25, 1976, Muddy Waters performed at The Band's farewell concert at Winterland in San Francisco. The concert was released as both a record and a film, The Last Waltz, featuring Waters' performance of "Mannish Boy" with Paul Butterfield on harmonica.
In 1977 Johnny Winter convinced his label, Blue Sky, to sign Waters, the beginning of a fruitful partnership. Waters' "comeback" LP, Hard Again, was recorded in just two days and was a return to the original Chicago sound he had created 25 years earlier, thanks to Winter's production. Former Waters sideman James Cotton contributed harmonica on the Grammy Award-winning album and a brief but well-received tour followed.
The Muddy Waters Blues Band included guitarist Bob Margolin, pianist Pinetop Perkins, and drummer Willie "Big Eyes" Smith. Winter played guitar in addition to producing. Waters asked James Cotton to play harp on the session, and Cotton brought his bassist Charles Calmese. According to Margolin's liner notes, Waters did not play guitar during these sessions. The album covers a broad spectrum of styles, from the opening of "Mannish Boy", with shouts and hollers throughout, to the old-style Delta blues of "I Can't Be Satisfied", with a National Steel solo by Winter, to Cotton's screeching intro to "The Blues Had a Baby", to the moaning closer "Little Girl". Its live feel harks back to the Chess Records days, and it evokes a feeling of intimacy and cooperative musicianship