Thursday, June 25, 2009

Big Bill Morganfield "Born Lover"

I didn't really know what to expect with this disc. I have seen Big Bill Morganfield live, and on stage he is a big powerful bluesman--a powerful singer, perhaps a little one dimensional. But I was wrong. On this cd he continues his transformation from Muddy Water's son to becoming his own artist. "Born Lover" is a very fine disc of Chicago style blues--Big Bill's best disc so far. Big Bill has an unerring ear for blues songs which suit his big voice well--his baritone has a lot more nuance than I expected. He sings the blues with truth, a dose of heart and soul. Big Bill wrote three songs here, "High Gas Prices," "Who's The Fool?" and "X-Rated Lover," and he and the band bring to life Willie Dixon's "One Kiss," Buddy Guy's "My Love Is Real," Howling Wolf's "My Last Affair," and his father's song "Born Lover." I think Big Bill's take on "My Love Is Real" is even better than Buddy's original. Of course, Big Bill doesn't do it all by himself--he is backed by a great band consisting of Chuck Cotton on drums, Mookie Brill on bass, Clark Stern on keyboards, Brian Bisesi and Bob Margolin on guitars and Steve Guyger on harmonica. The band sounds absolutely spot on throughout--this is the living Chicago blues, y'all! I want to recognize the great harp work by Guyger on "Born Lover" and great piano work by Stern on "Who's The Fool?" There are moments such as when Stern and Guyger weave piano and harp around Morganfield's slide guitar on the ending of Snooky Pryor's "Peace of Mind" when I am reminded why I love this music.

A very good disc. Available 7-7-09 from Vizztone, at and at

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