BIG BILL MORGANFIELD
BLUES WITH A MOOD
BLACK SHACK RECORDS BSR 002
LOOK WHAT YOU DONE–HAVIN’ FUN–MONEY’S GETTIN’ CHEAPER–OOH WEE–NO BUTTER FOR MY GRITS–TIGHT THINGS–DEVIL AT MY DOOR–I FEEL ALRIGHT AGAIN–ANOTHER LONELY NIGHT–HOT LOVE–SON OF THE BLUES
Muddy Waters was born McKinley Morganfield, and left the plantation life in Rolling Fork, MS, and headed to Chicago during the Great Migration following WWII, becoming arguably the greatest of the postwar bluesmen. His son, Bg Bill Morganfield, was literally born to sing the blues, and “carry this bidness on” for his father. His latest release, on the Black Shack label, is called “Blues With A Mood,” and is eleven cuts that Bill does to serve as a tribute to his father.
Bill doesn’t just rest on his dad’s laurels, tho, as seven of these cuts are his own compositions, and they are all done up in that Chess Records style that shows what a consummate performer Big Bill has become. He’s joined by some more blues luminaries, including Colin Linden, Eddie Taylor, Jr., and another Muddy alumnus, Bob Margolin (on two cuts), on guitars, Mookie Brill on bass, Chuck Cotton on drums, and Augie Meyers on piano.
With that huge, deep baritone vocal delivery, there are times on this set that you’d swear you were listening to Muddy. Check out the midtempo lope of “Hot Love” and the swampy, Delta-infused, “Devil At My Door,” with its tales of “the Devil’s many disguises” to use to get to you! “Tight Things” uses a hot rhumba beat and slide guitar to give this one a Mardi Gras feel, while “Look What You Done” and “Ooh Wee” both feature Bob Margolin on guitar and Steve Guyger on harp and serve as a fine tribute to Muddy.
All those cuts are good, but three of Bill’s originals stood out for us. A trip to his refrigerator, the Seven-Eleven, and even his neighbor’s yields “No Butter For My Grits!” Another humorous look at today’s economy has some fine pickin’ from Eddie Taylor, Jr., and is called “Money’s Gettin’ Cheaper.” And, the set closes with perhaps the most powerful cut of all, the brooding, deeply-personal “Son Of The Blues,” where “the blues came calling my name, straight from my daddy’s grave.”
Big Bill Morganfield continues to carve his legacy in the blues world with strong original tunes such as the ones found on “Blues With a Mood.” Enjoy these deep grooves and the musicians that bring them to life. Just close your eyes, and let these blues wash over your soul. Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow.