Classic concert: Muddy Waters at Copenhagen Jazz festival in 1968 (video)

McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1913 – April 30, 1983), known professionally as Muddy Waters, was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician who is often cited as the “father of modern Chicago blues”.

This short and sweet set from Denmark, 27th October 1968 is a great showcase of his electric blues. It is a blistering concert with a great band, especially the great Otis Spann on piano. The sound and picture are both high broadcasting quality.
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The Howlin’ Wolf Story – The Secret History of Rock & Roll (Documentary, 2003)

Few if any figures in blues loom as large as Howlin’ Wolf, yet there’s been a sad lack of footage of this staggering man. This director’s cut from the When the Sun Goes Down-The Secret History of Rock & Roll series is packed with never-before-seen live footage, rare Shindig footage presented by Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, interviews with bandmates and family and more. An absolute must for music-history and blues fans.

Chester Arthur Burnett (June 10, 1910 – January 10, 1976), known as Howlin’ Wolf, was a Chicago blues singer, guitarist, and harmonica player, originally from Mississippi. With a booming voice and imposing physical presence, he is one of the best-known Chicago blues artists. The musician and critic Cub Koda noted, “no one could match Howlin’ Wolf for the singular ability to rock the house down to the foundation while simultaneously scaring its patrons out of its wits.” Producer Sam Phillips recalled, “When I heard Howlin’ Wolf, I said, ‘This is for me. This is where the soul of man never dies.'” Several of his songs, including “Smokestack Lightnin'”, “Killing Floor” and “Spoonful”, have become blues and blues rock standards. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 54 on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.

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Great performance: Rolling Stones – Little Red Rooster, Knebworth 1976 (video)

The Stones were back on stage for what was their biggest show in the UK since the Hyde Park concert of 1969 in August 1976, and it was in front of their biggest paying crowd ever…somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 people.

One of the highlights for me was the performance of Willie Dixon’s Little Red Rooster, Rolling Stones does a version that is very close to Howling Wolf’s interpretation of the song. Slow and heavy Chicago blues with a fantastic groove.

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July 3: Muddy Waters At Newport was recorded in 1960

muddy waters at newport 1960

For many back in the early ’60s, this was their first exposure to live recorded blues, and it’s still pretty damn impressive some 40-plus years down the line. Muddy, with a band featuring Otis Spann, James Cotton, and guitarist Pat Hare, lays it down tough and cool with a set that literally had ’em dancing in the aisles by the set closer, a rippling version of “Got My Mojo Working,” reprised again in a short encore version.
~Cub Koda (allmusic.com)

A stomping live document of the period when Waters’ Chicago blues started reaching a wider pop audience. Newport has his classics – “Hoochie Coochie Man,” a torrid “Got My Mojo Working” – delivered by a tough, tight band anchored by harp genius James Cotton.
~rollingstone.com

Got My Mojo Working (part 1 & 2)

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July 1: The Late Great James Cotton was born in 1935

Distinctive wail…fat-toned style. Sheer propulsive power…Cotton can drive a song with his harp, squeezing out a flurry of notes. His true genius is his ability to select the perfect note. Cotton is a virtuoso of the blues.
– Blues Revue

Cotton is a key link on the chain of great blues harmonica players – Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Junior Wells. Sometimes he out-rocks the Rolling Stones.
– Chicago Tribune

James Cotton – Slow Blues (Angel Of Mercy / Blues in my sleep):

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July 1: The Late Blues Legend Willie Dixon was born in 1915

The Blues are the true facts of life expressed in words and song, inspiration, feeling, and understanding.
~Willie Dixon

“The blues will always be because the blues are the roots of all American music.”
~Willie Dixon

Chuck Berry Inducts Willie Dixon into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

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