April 4: The late great Muddy Waters was born in 1913

“Man, you don’t know how I felt that afternoon when I heard that voice and it was my own voice.” 

– Muddy Waters

“I rambled all the time. I was just like that, like a rollin’ stone.”

– Muddy Waters

Waters_Muddy_003

Wikipedia (Read more):

McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1913 – April 30, 1983), known as Muddy Waters is generally considered the “father of modern Chicago blues”. He was a major inspiration for the British blues explosion in the 1960s, and was ranked #17 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

In his later years Muddy usually said that he was born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, in 1915, he was actually born at Jug’s Corner in neighboring Issaquena County, Mississippi, in 1913.

One of the greatest and most influential blues artists of all times.

Got my Mojo workin, 1976:

His grandmother Della Grant raised him after his mother died shortly after his birth. His fondness for playing in mud earned him the nickname “Muddy” at an early age. He then changed it to “Muddy Water” and finally “Muddy Waters”.

muddy waters Michael choIllustration by Michael Cho

The actual shack where Muddy Waters lived in his youth on Stovall Plantation is now at the Delta Blues Museum at 1 Blues Alley in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He started out on harmonica but by age seventeen he was playing the guitar at parties emulating two blues artists who were extremely popular in the south, Son House and Robert Johnson.

You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had:

“His thick heavy voice, the dark coloration of his tone and his firm, almost solid, personality were all clearly derived from House,” wrote music critic Peter Guralnick in Feel Like Going Home, “but the embellishments which he added, the imaginative slide technique and more agile rhythms, were closer to Johnson.”

Album of the day, The Folk Singer by Muddy Waters:
muddy waters folk singer

Muddy Waters started out playing acoustic blues in the Delta, and it shows on this return to his roots, it is probably designed to appeal to the mid-1960s surge of interest in blues music, especially in the UK. It is a great acoustic blues album. You’ve got Muddy Waters and you’ve got legendary songwriter/bassist Willie Dixon, and a young Buddy Guy on lead guitar! Waters sings very strong and the sound is surprisingly clean , enjoy!

Other April 4th:

Gary Moore was born in 1952 in Belfast Ireland.

In a career dating back to the 1960s, Moore played with artists including Phil Lynott and Brian Downey during his teens, leading him to memberships with the Irish bands Skid Row and Thin Lizzy on three separate occasions. Moore shared the stage with such blues and rock luminaries as B.B. King, Albert King, Colosseum II, George Harrison and Greg Lake, as well as having a successful solo career.

Moore died in his sleep of a heart attack in his hotel room while on holiday in Estepona, Spain, in February 2011

Elvis Presley:

A taped Elvis Presley concert entitled Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii was telecast on NBC in the USA and proved to be a huge success. The total worldwide audience for the show, the first commercial worldwide satellite broadcast, amounts to over a billion people.

-Hallgeir

Sources: Wikipedia, Allmusic, Peter Guralnick – Feel Like Going Home and Robert Gordon’s wonderful book:

Muddy Waters bio

March 30: Happy Birthday Eric Clapton

 I am, and always will be, a blues guitarist.
~Eric Clapton

“I found my God in music and the arts, with writers like Hermann Hesse, and musicians like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Little Walter. In some way, in some form, my God was always there, but now I have learned to talk to him.”
~Eric Clapton

….Paul Simon writes great songs. George Harrison great songs, a lot of people, Eric Clapton produces wonderful music.
~Bob Dylan (Press Conference, July 1981)

Robbie Robertson inducts Eric Clapton Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000:

Check out:

March 25: Aretha Franklin was born in 1942 – Happy 76th birthday!

If a song’s about something I’ve experienced or that could’ve happened to me it’s good. But if it’s alien to me, I couldn’t lend anything to it. Because that’s what soul is all about.
~Aretha Franklin

I Say A Little Prayer – “The Cliff Richard Show” 1970:

Continue reading “March 25: Aretha Franklin was born in 1942 – Happy 76th birthday!”

March 21: The Late Son House was born in 1902

Photo by Giuseppe Pino

 

“Of course that was my idol, Son House. I think he did a lot for the Mississippi slide down there.”
~Muddy Waters

“People keep asking me where the blues started and all I can say is that when I was a boy we always was singing in the fields. Not real singing, you know, just hollerin’, but we made up our songs about things that was happening to us at the time, and I think that’s where the blues started.”
~Son House (1965)

Death Letter Blues:

Continue reading “March 21: The Late Son House was born in 1902”

March 15: The Legend Lightnin Hopkins was born in 1912

Sam John Hopkins (March 15, 1912 – January 30, 1982), better known as Lightnin’ Hopkins, was an American country blues singer, songwriter, guitarist and occasional pianist, fromHouston, Texas. Rolling Stone magazine included Hopkins at number 71 on their list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

Musicologist Robert “Mack” McCormick opined that Hopkins “is the embodiment of the jazz-and-poetry spirit, representing its ancient form in the single creator whose words and music are one act”

I came to Lightnin’ Hopkins through Townes Van Zandt and Justin Townes Earle (I guess he discovered him through Townes as well…). I was expecting something ancient, something old, but Hopkins sounds modern and his guitar playing is just out of this world!

Sometimes music hit you so hard you simply do not know what happened, Justin Townes Earle did just that when he covered the relatively unknown song, hell, he  ripped through a rousing version of Lightnin’ Hopkins’ My starter won’t start (I been burnin bad gasoline). And suddenly I understood what/why Hopkins was held in as high a regard as he does! It was pure magic! (see own post)

Lightnin’ Hopkins – Baby Please Don’t go:

Continue reading “March 15: The Legend Lightnin Hopkins was born in 1912”

March 8: Mississippi John Hurt was born in 1892

Photo: Rowland Scherman

“The Blues ain’t nothin’ but a good woman on your mind.”
~Mississippi John Hurt

No blues singer ever presented a more gentle, genial image than Mississippi John Hurt. A guitarist with an extraordinarily lyrical and refined fingerpicking style, he also sang with a warmth unique in the field of blues, and the gospel influence in his music gave it a depth and reflective quality unusual in the field.
~Bruce Eder (allmusic.com)

Continue reading “March 8: Mississippi John Hurt was born in 1892”