Shake Em’ On Down: Mississippi Fred McDowell

Rating: 95%

R-2547070-1303703332.jpeg.jpg“I don’t play no rock n’ roll, but it kinda sound like it” is what Mississippi Fred McDowell says on the opening track “Shake Em’ on Down.” This record captures Mississippi Fred McDowell live at the Gaslight, McDougal Street, New York City on November 5, 1971.

Mississippi Fred McDowell style of blues never changed or really modernized as many blues musicians did during the 1960’s and 1970’s. He plays based upon raw emotion, plucking each string and throwing in that eerie bottleneck glass slide. His style of Delta blues has influenced many guitarists. The way he carries rhythm and plays that slide is remarkable. His music has harmony, tempo and melody and combined that with his vocal style, you are hearing how Delta blues was meant to be heard.

During the his performance in between songs, he comments, that blues is a feeling and he plays what he feels and he is totally right. His vocal work is very eerie, full hearted and it’s emotional.

Track listing:

1 Shake ‘Em On Down Guitar [2nd Guitar] – Tom Pomposello 3:33
2 I’m Crazy About You Baby 4:42
3 John Henry 4:39
4 You Got To Move 2:40
5 Someday 3:51
6 Mercy 5:28
7 The Lovin’ Blues 3:57
8 White Lightnin’ 4:55
9 Baby Please Don’t Go 3:10

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They Call Me Muddy Waters

Rating 80%

I have been a huge fan of the Delta Blues…and Muddy Waters was a huge part of that. McKinley Morganfield, known as Muddy Waters to me was one of the greatest blues guitarist and the most influential guitarist of all time. His musical and vocal style  can not be compared to any other. When you hear his voice, you know that it’s Muddy Waters. Musically, it’s raw, emotional and dark, but yet lively. Musically, Muddy Waters has influenced many artists. Some could say without Muddy Waters, there would be no rock n’ roll. On those hot summer nights, I would play Muddy Waters with my guitar by my side.

I love Muddy Waters’ slide work, his leads and his style of playing. He played from the heart and emotions. The feeling of real life experiences, one can pick up just by listening to his vocals.

I have several of his CDs that were released as collections or greatest hits, but nothing compares to what one would hear on vinyl. They Call Me Muddy Waters is a collections album released in 1977. It’s far from a best of or greatest hits collaboration, but if you’re a fan, then this album is worth to add to your collection.

Sound quality of the record is very good. It’s clean and crisp, which allows the listener to experience Muddy Waters for what he was and how it was meant to be heard. The one track on this record that most should recognize, if “Crawlin’ Kingsnake.” It’s been covered by many artist, including the Doors. Another song that many should recognize is “They Call Me Muddy Waters.”

Tracklist

When The Eagle Flies
Crawlin’ Kingsnake
County Jail
It’s All Over
Bird Nest On The Ground
They Call Me Muddy Waters
Find Yourself Another Fool
Kinfolk’s Blues
Making Friends
Blind Man
Two Steps Forward
Howling Wolf