About a dozen years ago or so, I heard that a son of Muddy Waters was popping up at clubs on the Westside of Chicago and sitting in for a couple of tunes. This stoked my curiosity as there have been a number of Muddy Waters imitators around town over the years, some good, some not. Mary Lane, a greaz her own right, told me that yes he was Muddy’s son and has been coming down to her gigs. A few weeks later the Chicago blues club, ‘B.L.U.E.S. On Halsted’, was having their annual musicians Christmas luncheon and there was this guy who certainly looked like Muddy. As soon as I introduced myself and he began to talk, I knew without a doubt that this was Muddy’s son. No one could have that deep baritone voice and as soon as he gave that little “chuckle” that Muddy always did, I was convinced. Since that first meeting, I am proud to say that we have become great friends and have worked together on many musical endeavors.
My friend, now known as Mud Morganfield, has grown into a superstar on the blues circuit. Certainly, there will be comparisons to his Dad but that can be expected and rightly so. Mud comes as close to the Muddy experience as one can get. Mud will always pay tribute to his Dad with the Chicago blues ensemble sound that Muddy created. As I say, Mud was “born into the blues”.
Mud was also brought up musically in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s when soul, Motown and R&B ruled the world. Mud played bass and performed with bands playing the hits of that era. This along with his blues pedigree have influenced Mud’s own songwriting skills which are constantly evolving.
TO DATE MUD HAS THREE ALBUMS RELEASED UNDER HIS OWN NAME.
The first, Fall Waters Fall, was cut in Chicago in the dead of Winter for a small independent label. It was as cold in the studio as it was outside as I recall. Even on his first CD, Mud wrote a majority of the songs which were hard hitting blues. This is a great album and will probably be a hard one to find.
Mud’s second album, Son Of The Seventh Son on Severn Records is the one that brought Mud into the blues limelight. Mud wrote all but three of the songs on that album and it shows how his songwriting has matured. This recording was nominated for numerous blues awards and received rave reviews around the world.
The third album, For Pop’s, also on Severn Records is a tribute to Muddy Waters featuring Mud and harmonica great Kim Wilson. This loving tribute featured Muddy hits and hidden gems with an all star backing band. Among the it’s awards and praises was a Blues Music Award for Traditional Album of the Year.
NOW SEVERN BRINGS US TO THE ALBUM YOU NOW HAVE IN YOUR HAND.
Mud also put his stamp on this one by writing all but two of the songs. This album shows how Mud’s songwriting has evolved in the few years he has been recording. This is a blues buffet, something for everyone. We have a new signature song “They Call Me Mud” a hard hitting funky blues with Mud growling it on home. Some rockin’ blues with Studebaker John on harp and Mike Wheeler on guitar going toe to toe on “Who’s Fooling Who?”. A couple of Chicago blues stompers, “Walkin’ Cane” and “Rough Around The Edge”. A great minor blues, “48 Days”, with Billy Flynn channeling the great Jimmy Johnson on guitar. A Stax groove with, “Oh Yeah” and Mike Wheeler again getting funky on “24 Hours”. Mud stretches out with his R&B roots on a loving duet with his daughter Lashunda on “Who Loves You”. Everyone will be asking, “what did your Grandmother tell you?” after listening to “Cheatin’ Is Cheatin’”. To honor his Dad once again with Muddy’s slide guitar blues “Howlin’ Wolf” and roaring shuffle “Can’t Get No Grindin’”, where everyone take a solo turn.
And finally, a jazzy instrumental, “Mud’s Groove”, featuring the great Billy Branch on harp. This was the kind of song that blues bands would play before the star of the show would appear to get them into the groove. This song is a perfect finale to a CD that showcases Mud’s take on the blues.
I look forward to seeing what my friend has for us in the coming years. – Rick Kreher, August 2017
Mud Morganfield: vocals; bass (2, 11, 12)
Rick Kreher: guitar; backing vocals (9)
Billy Flynn: guitar; backing vocals (9)
Studebaker John: harmonica; backing vocals (9)
Sumito Ariyo Ariyoshi: piano; backing vocals (9)
E.G. McDaniel: bass; backing vocals (9)
Melvin “Pookie Stix” Carlisle: drums; backing vocals (9)
Lashunda Williams: vocals (7)
Anne Harris: violin (7)
Billy Branch: harmonica (12)
Mike Wheeler: guitar (4,6)
Bryant “T” Parker: percussion (4,12)
Phil Perkins: trumpet (1, 2, 3, 7,10, 11)
Michael Jackson: sax (1, 2, 3, 7,10, 11)
Produced by Mud Morganfield and Rick Kreher
All songs BY Mud Morganfield, Pops Daisy (BMI), except tracks 5 and 9 by McKinley Morganfield,
Watertoons Music (BMI) administered by BMG Rights Management, Inc.
Recorded at Joyride Studios, Chicago, IL, on February 7 and 8, 2017, Engineer, Brian Leach
Mixed by Studebaker John and Brian Leach
Mastered by Randy LeRoy, Tonal Park, Takoma Park, MD
Photography by Paul Natkin, Photo Reserve
Design by Al Brandtner, Brandtner Design
Special Thanks to Twist Turner for use of Delta Roots Studio for rehearsals
Thanks to Todd Park Mohr, Diane Jones, Alex Dixon, and my daugther Lashunda Williams.
Dedicated to the memory of blues master, Barrelhouse Chuck, who was to be involved in this project, and my Godfather/James Cotton.