Bob Margolin doesn’t need much of an introduction for blues fans. He picked up guitar in 1964 and started playing in bands right from the start. The journey from rock to blues, and vice-a-versa wasn’t that difficult for Bob. The chance of a lifetime for Margolin came through an encounter with Muddy Waters, in 1973. He had been studying Muddy’s style, and Muddy had watched Bob in action as an opening act. Water’s had need of an extra guitarist, and hired Bob to replace Sammy Lawhorn. Back then, the learning process (if you had some talent, and were lucky enough) for playing blues was handed down from experienced players. Muddy had Margolin stand on his right side while playing so he could watch him. And that he did--for seven years. To learn from a master such as Muddy Waters, is indeed, an honor. In quoting Bob: "Most musicians in modern times learn from listening to recordings." Unfortunately, it can show in the music--however, there are exceptions to the rule. If you’re truly dedicated, then, you’ll find a way. Margolin’s guitar attack is deeply influenced in the raw beauty of Muddy Waters: single string slide runs and tough chops. Yet every player has there own personal stamp that stands alone, and Margolin is no exception. The man is beyond multi-talented and has a remarkable track record, both in the recording studio, and on the road. Going through the 80s, Margolin experimented with many different styles of blues, rock, and funk. The pay off is what you hear on disc or at a live performance. For my money, I’ll take a front row seat! This is Bob’s second record with Blind Pig, and in all honesty; my favorite. The twelve tracks take you on a cruise through the Chi Town sound of the '50s blues, and into the current scene without missing a lick. Big Bill Morganfield (Muddy Waters son) pulls up a chair on Wee Baby Blues--the final song, if not the best. But hell, that’s just my opinion. From start to finish, and back again, it would be blasphemy to walk away from this one. My highest recommendations.
This review is copyright © 1999 by Dick Houff, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.