Muddy Waters – Electric Mud (1968/2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 36:15 minutes | 804 MB | Genre: Blues
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Geffen
With ‘Electric Mud’ Muddy Waters took the blues in a new direction and managed to influence everyone from Chuck D to Jimi Hendrix.
Marshall Chess, son of Chess Records co-founder Leonard, had to work hard to persuade Muddy Waters of the benefits in recording Wading In Electric Mud, released on 5 October 1968. But persuade him he did, and Marshall made plans to set up the studio, and fill it with predominantly jazz-blues crossover musicians who were breaking into blues rock.
Most notably was psychedelic guitarist Pete Cosey who would play a pivotal role in Miles Davis’ mid-70s electric period, in 1968 was a member of Sun Ra Arkestra. Also, much sought-after, bass player and guitarist Phil Upchurch came fresh from a run of jazz guitar gigs with Stan Getz, Jack McDuff, Jimmy Smith and Woody Herman. Here he would make up a trio of jazz guitarists alongside Cosey and Roland Faulkner; the bass duties were handled by Chess-man Louis Satterfield..
Another in-house man, producer Gene Barge, also brought his saxophone and arranging skills, while his and Satterfield’s colleague, Morris Jennings stepped in as drummer on the date. Future Earth, Wind & Fire producer Charles Stepney took the electric organ seat, following up a busy period of arranging and composing for R&B vocalists The Dells, and the brilliant Psychedelic Soul group Rotary Connection, and jazz legends Eddie Harris and Ramsey Lewis. He had previously worked with Muddy Waters at Chess a couple of years beforehand, providing arrangements for Brass and the Blues, a mostly successful reimagining of the Waters ‘canon’ in the style of well-selling bluesman BB King.
Marshall Chess brought his backing musicians in early, and so that by the time Waters arrived, all he had to do was come in at the right places identified for vocals and his few solos. But, Waters does a lot more than just go through the motions, he puts in one of his most spirited studio performances.
‘Hoochie Coohie Man’, in particular, seems to synthesise Chess’ vision admirably, comfortably combining heavy backbeat, soaring guitar lines, pulsating bass, swelling organ and jazzy sax.
1. Muddy Waters – I Just Want To Make Love To You
2. Muddy Waters – (I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man
3. Muddy Waters – Let’s Spend The Night Together
4. Muddy Waters – She’s Alright
5. Muddy Waters – I’m A Man (Mannish Boy)
6. Muddy Waters – Herbert Harper’s Free Press News
7. Muddy Waters – Tom Cat
8. Muddy Waters – The Same Thing