Big Bill Morganfield

Big Bill Morganfield
Blues With A Mood

Black Shuck Records

By Ms. Marci
March 2013

This CD by Big Bill Morganfield is appropriately named, Blues With A Mood. He states in the liner notes that he "… wanted to put together a set of tunes ... which stay close to the musical genre of Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, and several other of my musical heroes." Of the 11 tunes on this disc, 7 were penned by Big Bill Morganfield, son of Muddy Waters, who authored the first tune "Look What You've Done." People, this apple did not fall far from the tree! Morganfield stays close to the roots. Whether he is covering his "Pops" (as he calls his dad), Peter Chatman, aka Memphis Slim, Richard "Doc" Malone, or Willie Dixon, the blues are a strong presence! Throughout this recording Morganfield is supported by a fine cast of musicians, among them guitarists Eddie Taylor, Jr. and Bob Margolin - a Muddy Waters Band veteran and one of the finest slide guitarists alive today! Also on the job are Mark Williams, Jim Horn, Chuck Cotton, Augie Meyers, Colin Linden, Doc Malone and last but certainly not least, one of my personal favorites, Tom "Mookie" Brill on bass.

The first song on this recording that Morganfield penned is a lament about the economy, "Money's Gettin' Cheaper." Then he goes on to cover a rare Dixon tune "Ooh Wee."

Now, there are still people who think that the blues means sad music about losing someone or something (like your booze) , but you get down tune number 5, that musically starts out sounding like your typical blues about the aforementioned and SURPRISE! I must tell you, when I read the song titles to my husband/guitarist, Jim, his reaction was predictable, seeing how he's a Southern man. "No Butter For My Grits” What kind of nonsense is that? I never heard of such a thing! Everybody knows you gotta have butter for your grits," he exclaimed! Well, it becomes obvious that Big Bill knows it, too, as he tells a tale in song about going from store to store and place to place, even knocking on his neighbor's door looking for some butter for his grits! He continues his playful style with another original titled "Tight Things," but gets back to business talking about the "Devil At My Door."

Big Bill and Doc Malone do a little up-tempo swing/blues duet on number 8, "I Feel Alright Again." The final 3 songs, all originals, finish this disc off nicely.The mood stays light on the next tune, "Another Lonely Night" in spite of the subject, then it's back to "the blues" as we know them with the powerful intro of "Hot Love." The last tune, "Son Of The Blues," is auto-biographical with a groove reminiscent of his "Pops" songs "Still A Fool" and "Catfish Blues."

All in all, the title of this recording says it all, "Blues With A Mood." Big Bill Morganfield's guitar playing and strong, commanding vocals do the job. Buy it!

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