“Muddy Waters Sings ‘Big Bill’” by Muddy Waters - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1960Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s

TJR says

William Broonzy had died in August 1958 after suffering from the effects of throat cancer. Just a year or so later, Muddy stepped into the studio to pay his tribute to the man. When Waters arrived in Chicago in his late 30s it was Big Bill, one of the leading blues-men in town, who helped him break into the very competitive market by allowing him to open for his shows in the rowdy clubs. Muddy never forgot it – and he showed his gratitude when the time came to record his bona-fide debut LP some 16 years later. The album openers are closest to Big Bill’s rural Delta stylings – both “Tell Me Baby” and “Southbound Train” are noticeably more stripped back than the usual Muddy fare. On the latter, Muddy is on his way to the lowlands, and he pleads: “conductor can I ride?” James Cotton plays a blinder with a harmonica wail that screams “let him ride”. It’s actually a fantastic feature of the entire album. “When I Get To Thinking” is another early album highlight – the band toughen up the backbeat to coincide with Muddy’s angry vocal; “how long you gonna keep on jivin’ and doing me wrong, you been goin’ round braggin’ about cashing my cheque, if I find out what I’m thinkin’ baby, I just gonna break your neck”. Man got the blues! “Double Trouble” closes side 1 strongly – the man still got women troubles and the band is feeling it with him, every note and every beat. It’s terrific stuff. The depressing tales of mistreatment continue onto side 2 – but our main man is getting even, not mad. On “I Done Got Wise” he sings “when I used to come home from work you had 4 or 4 “cousins” around, now I got me a “cousin” since I came to town.” It all adds up to a fine tribute – homage not pastiche. It’s a strong debut long-player proper – the man’s got his mojo working. Ain’t gonna be nobody’s dog. Big Bill would have loved it : – )

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:15] 7.3.png Muddy Waters - Tell Me Baby (William Broonzy) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A2 [02:51] 7.4.png Muddy Waters - Southbound Train (William Broonzy) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A3 [03:05] 8.0.png Muddy Waters - When I Get To Thinking (Harriett Melka) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A4 [02:30] 6.9.png Muddy Waters - Just A Dream (On My Mind) (William Broonzy) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A5 [02:44] 7.7.png Muddy Waters - Double Trouble (Harriett Melka) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B1 [02:53] 6.3.png Muddy Waters - I Feel So Good (William Broonzy) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B2 [02:56] 7.0.png Muddy Waters - I Done Got Wise (McKinley Morganfield) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B3 [02:51] 6.4.png Muddy Waters - Mopper’s Blues (William Broonzy) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B4 [03:01] 6.7.png Muddy Waters - Lonesome Road Blues (William Broonzy) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B5 [02:41] 6.0.png Muddy Waters - Hey, Hey (William Broonzy) Blues / Rhythm n Blues

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