It's like a cat that misses a jump but lands on its feet any way and struts away coolly as if what happened had been planned all along. When I entered it, you wouldn't believe what I saw—a huge, three-paneled photo of the very session I was writing about—I took this as a great sign of things to come! At certain points during the journey things might not feel like a simple critique, or typical record review—I readily confess to including several digressions along the way to cut a much wider collective swath. My Captain — 05:13 04. The very first note is them playing the same note—E, the home key, and they meet up again perfectly at the corner on the B, the V chord. And to top it all off, there is the easy tear-away perforated plastic strip at the top of the plastic sealing; the special cardboard coating and cut to slide disc in and out easier; and the anti-static, non-scratching plastic sleeves to house the vinyl.
The album features Waters on acoustic guitar, backed by Willie Dixon on string bass, Clifton James on drums, and Buddy Guy on acoustic guitar. Think Miles Davis in jazz. These are inherited traits that were honed over time, and it's the difference between them and the rest of us. It's like watching someone turn a corner and just break out into a little hop skip and jump, then start walking normally again. My when mule crippled and my lead mule blind Then we discover the real truth: Dixon co-opted much of the lyrics straight from that song: Well, I worked on levee Honey and I worked old Belle Well, I worked old Lou Captain Lordy and I worked old Belle I couldn't find a mule Lord with a shoulder well And there it is, slightly altered for Muddy to sing: Ayyy, I worked ol' Maud Oh yeah boys and I worked ol' Belle Ahhhh, I couldn't find a mule Oh yeah fellas, with a shoulder well The topic fits the mood and content of the entire album, which reflects the overall intent of the session itself—to show Muddy's relationship to his original southern roots—the folk life.
Hear him as he's scratchin' on those twangy strings while Buddy supplies great accompanying single string licks all along. What you also hear is him having the greatest time being gone—outer-body experience. Notice that if you total up the measures, this particular form adds up an odd numbered 19 measures. Buddy plays the repeated loping counter-melody. The world is a better place for it, and Chad Kassem made a smart move when he went through all the trouble of serving up this two-disc platter in its finest edition yet—it was well worth the trouble, and I'm one of many who feel that way about this Muddy Waters Folk Singer. As the often-told story goes, Leonard told Muddy to go down South and find an old veteran to bring back with him who knew how to play the authentic Delta-style guitar.
Alas, it didn't make it to press in time, but let it be known—I went down swingin'. This is the true nature of the country boy Muddy sings about…Hopkins and Hooker and House all had that same thing. It was from there he left to get away from the Delta!! It's a sign of greatness, an acknowledgment that his assessment of the situation was absolutely right—we can look for flashiness and extravagant high-flying daredevil licks from whomever, but, it's not what we came to expect or demand from Muddy. You Gonna Need My Help 06. When he solos, you can really hear how fast his left hand is vibrating, especially when he hits the F high on the 14th fret when they get to the V chord, and you hear that clack-clack-clack-clack against the back of the guitar neck. Whipple, right at the intersection where W. Jim had been long time friends with Bill Ferris, the eminent folklorist and blues scholar who was the Director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, and is currently serving as senior associate director, Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Starts with an entire chorus solo as an intro. Also, instead of playing the V chord, Muddy does something that even many guitar players don't realize—they go to the ii— note F instead of the typical, expected note B, or the V. McKinley Morganfield died on April 30, 1983—the year that, as of this writing, marks the 35 th Anniversary of his passing. Michigan, the two-story building was spacious, but needed lots of interior renovation to achieve their dreams. Listening to the recording, you can tell Muddy did know what he was doing, and musically speaking, Buddy damn sure knew what he was doing — they sound perfect together, and work seamlessly like hand-in-glove.
Think Daniel Bolud in gastronomy. And, coincidentally, just a short block east of that liquor store on the southwest corner of Madison and Sacramento was the very popular blues club called Ma Bea's—above which legendary pianist Blind John Davis lived. From Lettsworth, Louisiana, George 'Buddy' Guy was just coming into his own. Notice that the specific date of the album is unrevealed — still not known to this day. Originally released in 1964, Folk Singer was the only acoustic album Waters ever recorded, thus becoming the first and perhaps best blues concept album ever. On recordings, it made the room sound much bigger than it actually was. What they didn't seem to realize was that they had it all along.
Biographical info, backstory material, linguistic forays, historical comparisons, theoretical constructs, contextual insights, and even a few onomatopoeian overtures—it's all gonna be stewing in this pot of blues. During the first half, Jerry Lee's great balls of fire had already burned, The King's hound dogs had howled, Johnny had been good but Chuck the Duck Walker was caught being bad. As far as choices go, Buddy Guy was the furthest thing from their minds. Here she is sitting in the office of Phil Chess—and Leonard's room was just across the hall. Think Gianni Versace in fashion.
The lyrics and subject matter, however, still do justice to conjuring up those rural images in that regard. At the time, Chess was located at 4750 S. Muddy is mainly singing about a plantation owner who is barely feeding him enough food to eat for him to have enough strength to work the fields every day. So the only thing left for me to do was to fly to Chicago and see the historic monument for myself—I needed to stand in the space where this legendary album took place. Leonard insisted that the tune be taken from Buddy and given to Muddy.
He was the floor general, and all the musicians acknowledged his experience and authority on the recording room floor—much more than they did Leonard Chess, who often threw his weight around in ways that, more times than not, only served to aggravate the primary artists and sidemen. Not many people know him as well as they do Muddy or Buddy, so here's a photo of him. Hot springs water doesn't even help her none. Muddy instinctively understood the unpretentious beauty and power in simplicity. By 1963 he still was under that influence, which is why the Chess Brothers hadn't even considered him for a sensitive acoustic project like this.