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LIVE REVIEW -- Mud Morganfield CD release party

Mud Morganfield

March  31, 2012

Buddy Guy’s Legends

 Chicago, IL

Mud Morganfield

By James Porter

Photos: Dianne Dunklau

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There is something about the second set of the night that loosens everybody up, especially at Buddy Guy's Legends. For the first show of the evening, the house was packed as usual on a Saturday night. Mud and his men were in fine form, even if the sound left something to be desired (the fine harmonica work of Harmonica Hinds and/or Bob Corritore got lost in the mix, barely being heard). But for set #2, there was a sense of the pressure being off, with both musicians and audience decidedly more relaxed. While the Legends crowd is known for sticking around for the first set only, that just deprived them of even better music later on.

 Mud Morganfield, eldest son of Muddy Waters, stood up to the pressure well. Matter of fact, he probably didn't even feel it. Morganfield has just released the aptly-titled Son Of The Seventh Son on the Severn label. The album is a relatively low-key affair; Morganfield doesn't hit you over the head with any Muddyisms (although he has certainly earned the right). He settles into a nice mid-paced feel, with just enough variations to keep things interesting. This sense of pacing extends to his live show. As he casually takes the stage by sitting on a stool (not playing an instrument), he relies on his mellow baritone to tell the tale (with occasional outbursts of "PLAY THE BLUES!").

Mud Morganfield white suit

Mud performed most of his new CD throughout the night, including his original songs “Health” and “Love To Flirt,” along with covers of his dad’s classics “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had.” The one exception to the low-key feel of Mud’s first set was during his self-penned tune, “Catfishing,” when he brandished a fishing pole and somehow “lured” a young woman in a tight purple outfit to the stage for some exciting bumps and grinds.

Mud Morganfield fishing

He was backed by many of the same musicians heard on the record, including Hinds and Corritore, guitarist Rick Kreher (who played in Muddy’s band), keyboardist Barrelhouse Chuck, drummer Kenny Smith (whose late father Willie “Big Eyes” Smith drummed for Muddy), and bassist E.G. McDaniel.  It was the exactly the sort of ace ensemble that Muddy would have used to back him.

Rick Kreher & Bob Corritore
Rick Kreher (left) and Bob Corritore who produced Mud's new CD

        It was a nice little program. But as stated earlier, those who decided to leave during the midway point missed the better part of the show. The band was loosened up, and there were great cameos from vocalists Deitra Farr and Katherine Davis. The band played louder and the harp players were finally audible. Morganfield returned in an all-black outfit, emoting like wildfire and joking with the audience. 

Harmonica Hinds & Mud Morganfield
Harmonica Hinds & Mud Morganfield were more relaxed for the late night set

   By contrast, the show was opened by the Chicago Blues Angels, a lively quartet who were out to get you from the gitgo, with the vocals of Herman Hines offset by the guitar of Mando Cortez, backed by drums and a standup bassist. Even the ballads, like the old R&B standard "Please Accept My Love," radiated high energy (in a good way). They did a good job of getting the party started.
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Chicago Blues Angels getting the party started

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