BIG BILL MORGANFIELD
BLOODSTAINS ON THE WALL
BLACK SHUCK RECORDS BS 103
LOST WITHOUT LOVE–I DON’T KNOW WHY–WHEN YOU LOSE SOMEONE YOU LOVE–TOO MUCH–HELP SOMEONE–BLOOD STAINS ON THE WALL–CAN’T CALL HER NAME–WAKE UP BABY–KEEP ON LOVING ME–I AM THE BLUES–HELP THE BEAR–BONUS TRACK FROM FOX TV SERIES, “SHOTS FIRED”–HOLD ME BABY
If you have ever listened to the blues as played by the iconic Muddy Waters, then you will be amazed at the similarities to the vocals of his son, Big Bill Morganfield. Not only does he possess that rootsy, robust baritone delivery, but his slide and guitar are also front and center on his latest set for Black Shuck Records, “Bloodstains On The Wall.”
There are four originals along with eight covers that are comprised of some deep, borne-of-the-Delta blues, some Chess-styled offerings, and some good-time jump-blues, too. Bill brought in an A-;list of special guests on this one, too, to go along with his Mofo Party Band. The guests include guitarists Bob Margolin, Chuck Cotton, Colin James, and Eddie Taylor, Jr., with Mookie Brill on bass, Doc Malone and Steve Guyger on harp, Augie Meyers on piano, and Jim Horn on sax.
Leading off is Big Bill’s brooding, echo-laden take on the Excello chestnut, “like a bird without its feathers, I’m Lost Without Your Love.” The fellows change gears for the next cut, the rompin’, stompin’ Chicago-styled “I Don’t Know Why,” with Steve on harp and Steady Rollin’ Bob on guitar. Bill keeps that rollicking mojo workin’ with his original, partly spoken-word tune to remind us to “Help Someone–you might need help yourself one day!” And, he covers Jimmy McCracklin’s humorous tale of swagger and braggadocio, “if you see me in a bear fight, don’t help me, Help The Bear!”
Our favorites were polar opposites of each other. Bill pays a solemn, slide-heavy tribute to his loving, late mother on “When You Lose Someone You Love.” Bill has also had the good fortune to have been asked to compose music for the Fox TV series, “Shots Fired,” and included herein is the bonus track that closes the set. It’s a Delta blues-meets-hip hop cut entitled “Hold Me Baby,” produced by Da Honorable C-Note. It fuses the blues with an urban urgency, intended to reach out to established fans and the younger listeners as well.
Muddy always wanted someone to “carry this bidness on” after he passed. Big Bill won the Handy Award (now the Blues Music Award) in 2000 for Best New Artist, and continues to carry on his Pop’s legacy and forge new fans as well, thru excellent sets such as “Bloodstains On The Wall.” Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.