These two CDs mark two generations of bluesmen covering the roots and the future of the blues. McKinley Morganfield, better known by his grandmother’s nickname for him as Muddy Waters, is the father of Big Bill Morganfield, who has recently burst onto the blues scene with a debut album and this sophmore effort.
Muddy Waters and the 50 classic sides on this two-CD retrospective need no introduction. Presented in chronological order, these are Muddy’s famous first songs cut for the Aristocrat and Chess labels in Chicago in 1947 through ’52, complete with a handful of alternative takes. There’s nothing new here; this is just a solid collection of great vintage blues.
Big Bill Morganfield is all about Muddy Waters and the old blues, too. His sound is classic Windy City; heavy-duty bottom end, barbed-wire slide guitar, Little Walter harp, growling vocals, and crisp, short tunes. Big Bill’s blues are as comfortable as a pair of old slippers.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s April ’01 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.