Friday, February 6, 2009

Remember Muddy!

Last night I was driving to a practice, guitar in the back seat, thinking how tired I was and how I hoped this practice wouldn't go on too long, when I decided I'd had enough of the radio so I pushed the CD button to see what my wife had been listening to. She drives the car most of the time, so the music is her choice, mainly blues. There was the new Buddy Guy, Honey by Steve Strongman, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt and then...the one that I listened to...Jimmy Rogers. Not the Singing Brakeman he spelled his name Jimmie Rodgers. This guy was from Muddy Waters band, he played rhythm guitar alongside Little Walter (harp) and Otis Spann (piano) to make one of the most potent blues lineups ever. Second only, and arguably, to Howlin' Wolf with Hubert Sumlin. This band was responsible for classic blues like "Blow Wind, Blow," "Hoochie Coochie Man," and "I'm Ready."
Jimmy passed away just before Christmas in 1997, but before he died he finished recording a dandy album with guests Keith & Mick, Jeff Healey, Stephen Stills, Eric Clapton and while it didn't come out til 1999 it's a total classic. Blues Blues Blues is the name, and on it he does some of Muddy's big songs. Look for it, it's dynamite!
Anyway, it made me think of the night I saw Muddy himself at Hamilton Place and was able to snap a couple of pictures which I'll try to post. We had great seats about ten rows back. John Hammond opened the show with a brief set on Robert Johnson songs and then Muddy's band blew the roof off the place. Within a couple of years he would be gone, but that night...he owned the place. I'm just glad I was able to see some of these originators before they passed away. I saw Count Basie, Elizabeth Cotton, Doc Watson, and others live and in person! And there's nothing like live music...whatever they tell you. I found this 35mm slide in a box of slides I had almost forgotten about, along with some family pix, and Ed scanned a few of them for me (Thanks Ed!) so I thought I'd share this one here on Rylander! Enjoy!

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