Monday, July 22, 2013

Blues With A Mood reviewed by Harmnonica Joe Poluyanskis

Blues With A Mood
Big Bill Morganfield
Black Shuck Music
11 tracks/47:56

Big Bill Morganfield, Muddy Waters' son for those of you that do not know this, has a new CD “Blues With A Mood”. This year, being the  100th anniversary  of Muddy's birth, is a proper for “Blues With A Mood”. Morganfield has put together 11 songs that hit hard on the blues genre and the the greats such as Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Robert Johnson and of course Muddy Waters. Bill has included 7 tracks that he wrote for the CD and features Eddie Taylor Jr., Colin Linen and Bob Margolin on guitar. Augie Meyers treats us with his fine piano playing on a bunch of the tracks while Tom “Mookie” Brill handles the bass work in a strong style. Chuck Cotton joins in with the drum line , Jim Horn wails away on sax  as “Doc” Malone blows stand out harp on 4 tracks. This is a powerful group of musicians for any recording.

The opening tune is Bill's strong rendition of Muddy's tune “Look What You Done”. His take on this song is not just a copy cat version of the tune. Morganfield's vocals take a different road by being a little softer hitting but still retaining a real strong blue feeling to the song. This track really becomes a standout as Steve Guyger jumps in with an awesome harmonica solo as Clark Stern adds his piano playing to the mix. Add the guitars of Bob Margolin and Brian Bisesi to make this really a well done blues tune.

Morganfield's lyric takes us into “Money's Getting Cheaper” which is a tale of the times in the present economy. Telling the story with his lyrics such as, “A dollar feels like a quarter and two seem like 50cents” and “if things get worse I'll be in the welfare line” is truly the blues. On this track we get the feel of Big Bill's awesome guitar work as he plays searing solos played with feeling and emotion. Meyers' piano playing is highlighted  along with a fine guitar solo from Eddie Taylor Jr. This track is really another statement of the blues. Throwing some humor into the mix of things, Morganfield has penned “No Butter For My Grits” This story of searching the neighborhood , stores and just about everywhere else for butter for his grits is a good tale. Even I know that you need butter for your grits. This is fun song but it is the blues. “Doc” Malone blows some really great harp on this track.

Morganfield has filled “Blues With A Mood” with 11 tunes that all take a different path along the blues highway. His vocals have qualities that include the roughness of the blues as well a velvet smoothness on some tunes. His guitar work just screams out blues with open spaces that make you listen for more. This man is really a “Son Of The Blues” as the final tune pours out a deep story of a blues man taking the road of the blues as his father did. Big Bill did a swell job writing this one.  “Blues With A Mood” is a powerful statement for Big Bill Morganfield that he has paid his dues and will keep the blues alive and well.

Reviewed by Harmonica Joe Poluyanskis

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