Paul McCartney and the Blues
In a past interview, Paul McCartney was asked how it feels to be a member of the greatest band in history. His reply, "You mean other than Muddy Water's Band?"
So why would someone of McCartney's stature give that kind of recognition to Muddy Water's Band? Let's review who was in it. They are certainly a group of All Time All Stars: in the 50's, Little Walter on Harp, Jimmy Rogers on guitar, Willie Dixon on bass, Otis Spann on piano. Later on, a young Buddy Guy was added on acoustic guitar.
At one point, Muddy used a backing band that included Paul Butterfield and Mike Bloomfield for his 1969 album "Fathers and Sons."
Muddy also used guitarist Sammy Lawhorn, as well as Rory Gallagher, Steve Winwood, Rick Grech, and Mitch Mitchell. Then came collaborations with Bob Margolin, Pinetop Perkins, Paul Butterfield, as well as Levon Helm and Garth Hudson of The Band.
I'm sure McCartney was speaking of the original band, including Buddy Guy.
Some of my favorite Muddy Waters compositions:
Champagne and Reefer, Clouds in my Heart, Country Boy, Cross Eyed Cat, (Perhaps the Influence for Keith Richard's Cross Eyed Heart?), Evil, Find Yourself Another Fool, Goin' Down to Main Street, Going Home, Gypsy Woman, Iodine in my Coffee, My Love Strikes Like Lightning, She's 19 Years Old, Lonesome Day, One More Mile, Where's My Woman Been, Sad Letter Blues, Long Distance Call, Loving Man, You're Gonna Miss Me, She Moves Me, Mule Kickin' in my Stall, She's All Right, Still a Fool, to name a few.
The hell, you say. Many of the best songs are missing from that list!
I Just Want to Make Love to You, Hoochie Cootchie Man, Don't Go No Further, I Got My Brand on You, I Love the Life I Live, I Live the Life I Love, I'm a Natural Born Lover, I'm Ready, I Want to be Loved? Muddy's bass player, Willie Dixon, wrote those songs and a host of others for many prominent Blues musicians.
I hope some of you blues aficionados will weigh in on this. Next, we can talk about Eric Clapton or Jimmie Hendrix's comment when asked how it feels to be the world's greatest guitarist. Phil Keaggy? No Clapton didn't say "Prince." After seeing Tommie Emmanuel, he's my guy. More on that later.