Muddy Waters. His name alone is prominent as he influenced, well, everyone who picked up a guitar in the mid 50's through the late 60's. From Chuck Berry to Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones, Muddy inspired and continues to inspire guitar players all over the world.
The Real Folk Blues series features four imperative blues artists: Sonny Boy Williams, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters.
Originally released in1966 and 1967 as two separate albums (The Real Folk Blues and More Real Folk Blues), catches Muddy Waters' early Chess studio recordings ranging from 1949 through 1954, which were his first electric sessions. With other blues greats contributing to these momentous gatherings such as Willie Dixon, Big Walter Horton, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers and Pee Wee Madison (to name a few) these recordings are pure gold as they capture the unsuspecting legends loose and relaxed in the studio unaware they would leave such a valuable mark on contemporary music.
While remastered from the original recordings, this is not a flawless album. It is gritty, scratchy and primitive, but that is part of the appeal of each track on this compilation. The disc commences with the classic 'Mannish Boy'. Recorded in 1955 it is still unclear who played harmonica (Junior Wells or Little Walter) however, it does feature Jimmy Rogers on guitar, Willie Dixon on bass, and Francis Clay on drums. Although Muddy is joined by what now to be considered "all-star" bands on several cuts, the majority of the anthology features Muddy Waters along with accompaniment with only bass player Ernest "Big" Crawford. The duo perform mainly Muddy Water originals such as 'Gypsy Woman', 'Rollin' and Tumblin', 'Early Morning Blues' and the Robert Johnson standard 'Walkin' Blues'.
Despite the antiquated sound of this set, with all it's imperfections, it captures an important period of time which would change music forever and is a must have for all serious blues collectors.
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