Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin rolled into Mugzee's with a show that featured a great deal of traditional blues by blues legends like Muddy Waters and Jimmy Rogers, along with a number of Margolin's originals, spiced with some rock, rockabilly, and down-home Delta Blues. It was a weeknight show where working folks who had to get up in the morning left before the best music had been given to the crowd as a thank you for their loyalty and enthusiasm.
Margolin started out with the traditional, Chicago-style blues made famous by Muddy. Songs like "Crazy About You Baby" and "Hard Hearted Woman" gave Margolin a chance to show off his considerable guitar playing skills and strong, expressive vocals. Margolin gave the small but raucous crowd some wicked slide guitar, slow, soulful playing, and fast, up-tempo picking. All night it seemed like he was channeling the spirit of Muddy Waters.
Margolin's current trio has Mookie Brill on harmonica and stand-up bass and Russ Wilson on drums. Both are very good singers who spell Margolin from vocal duties so he can concentrate on his guitar playing. They are a tight band who found their groove and stayed there the entire show. One of Margolin's originals that stood out, in more ways than one, was "Why the F--- Do You Think I Cuss?" This tongue in cheek and in your face song, delivered with fast guitar fills and furious vocals by Margolin, could pretty much sum up any blues players woes and feelings about life and the music business.
After their encore, the crowd continued to clap and scream for more. Looking around for something different to reward their enthusiasm, Margolin took out his dobro, walked over to the bar, sat down in a stool, and started to strum. Drummer Wilson sat down at a table with his sticks and started to beat on the table top. Brill grabbed a harp and a big jelly glass and blew harp into a glass. The 25-30 people still left crowded in close to hear Margolin do Muddy's "My Baby Left Me." The straight-from-the-heart delivery and intimacy of the acoustic show really moved the crowd. Margolin finished with the old Delta Blues number, "Brown Liquor in a Dirty Glass." This was one of the most special, authentic blues moments, played like it was meant to be played, that I have ever seen. It also stands as testimony that sometimes when you leave early just to get some sleep you miss the best part of the show. Margolin's second encore was definitely worth losing a little sleep over!
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