Lately I have been listening to a LOT of good blues. I heard Albert Cumming's cd "Working Man" (2006, Blind Pig) and Jeremy Spencer's cd "Precious Little" (2006, Blind Pig) and The Mannish Boys' cd "Big Plans" (2007, Delta Groove). All of these are good cds, with good music. But then yesterday I heard Muddy Waters' cd "Live at Newport 1960" (2001, MCA) and man, oh man it was sweet. Whenever I spend a few weeks or a month listening to blues by other artists I am amazed again when I put on some Muddy Waters. What a great voice! What a great band! Guitarists Jimmy Rogers, Sammy Lawhorn and Luther Johnson, harmonica players Little Walter, Junior Wells and James Cotton, pianists Otis Spann and Pinetop Perkins surround Muddy's magnificent voice and slide guitar to make great music. From 1948 to 1979 nobody made as much great music as Muddy Waters and his band.
There is a new rule in my blues listening--now at least one day each week I listen to the GIANTS of the blues--Muddy, John Lee, the Wolf, Robert Johnson, Little Walter. It helps me remember how incredible this music can be.
Keep on keepin' the blues alive.