They Call Me Mud
his latest release, Mud Morganfield takes
a slightly different approach. They Call Me
Mud (Severn Records) includes a couple of
marvelous tributes to the music of Morganfield’s
father, Muddy Waters, presented in the son’s
amazingly comparable vocal style with
appropriate backing from a few of Chicago’s
finest musicians (Studebaker John Grimaldi, Mike
Wheeler, Melvin “Pookie Stix” Carlisle, E.G.
McDaniel, Billy Flynn, Billy Branch, and Sumito
Ariyo Ariyoshi). But there’s also a definite
shift to the urban side of the blues that he
grew up listening to, with healthy doses of R&B,
soul, and funk mixed in.
traditional blues fans, there’s plenty to enjoy
with Morganfield’s two terrific covers of Waters
classics, “Howling Wolf” and “Can’t Get No
Grindin’,” along with the horn-driven title
track which leans more toward Memphis blues à la
B.B. King with some stinging guitar fills, the
urban blues “48 Days,” the driving “Oh Yeah,”
and “24 Hours,” a sweaty blues funk number.
Morganfield’s vocals retain the qualities that
he shared with his father, but he has his own
distinctive style that stands out as well.
more soul-oriented numbers include “Cheatin’ Is
Cheatin’,” a solid soul burner, “Who’s Foolin’
Who?,” which has the feel of ’70s funk, the R&B
ballad “Who Loves You” (a duet teaming
Morganfield with his daughter Lashunda
Williams), the jumping “Rough Around The Edge”
and “Walkin’ Cane,” both of which blend blues
and R&B, and the instrumental closer, “Mud’s
Groove,” which flirts with jazz and features
Branch on harmonica.
entire band sounds fantastic, with the Chicago
contingent being joined by producer/guitarist
Rick Kreher and the excellent horn section (Phil
Perkins – trumpet, and Michael Jackson – sax).
Morganfield may not ever escape the formidable
shadow cast by his father, and, to be honest,
I’m not sure if he would even want to, but he
really proves that he’s a versatile performer
who’s more than capable of branching out into
the R&B and soul venues, both as a performer and
a songwriter. They Call Me Mud puts his
talents on full display and is must-listening
for blues and soul fans.
--- Graham Clarke