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November 2001

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© Bluestronomical Publishing Inc. 2001

Muddy Waters
At Newport 1960
(MCA/Chess 088-112-515-2)

Recorded July 3, 1960 at the Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, Rhode Island; this reissue was originally released to become one of the most influential live blues albums of all time. It is widely credited by numerous British participants to have been the starting fuel for the later British blues-rock invasion thang! Added to the original vinyl sessions are also added monaural studio takes (previously unreleased) from 1960 sessions recorded in Chicago.

Released now as part of the UME Blues Classics series, this biscuit still remains vivid, vital and voracious. At the time, Muddy was fielding one of his finest bands. It included Otis Spann on piano, James Cotton on the harp, Pat Hare on guitar and at the side are bassist Andrew Stephenson and drummer Francis Clay in the engine room!

The original release contained the closing set which featured: "I Got My Brand On You", Hoochie Coochie Man", "Baby Please Don't Go", "Soon Forgotten", "Tiger In Your Tank", "I Feel So good", "I've Got My Mojo Working", "I've Got My Mojo Working, Part 2" and the spontaneous "Goodbye Newport Blues" (written on the scene by poet Langston Hughes and scored by Otis Spann).

Four of these are redone in the unreleased added cuts as they were newly released at the time. In some cases it was the live versions here that became the accepted standards over their studio complements. It is made easy to count yourself among the audience when listening to this reissue. As explosive a set as you will ever hear; Muddy whipped up a contentious set that is nothing short of totally pleasing; it even had all the jazz fans into the show! This is absolutely the best of Muddy Waters with no-holds-barred!

- Mark A. Cole -


Southwest Blues CD Review - November 2001

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