Mud Morganfield – Son of the Seventh Son

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Historias del Blues (Columbia) (September 4, 2012)

Cuando ustedes escuchen a “Mud” Morganfield van a pensar que están oyendo a Muddy Waters. El parecido vocal entre padre e hijo es increíble, al igual que la parte física, es como una copia calcada. “Mud” creció en Chicago, criado por su madre ya que su padre siempre estaba en gira, pero esto no impidió que le tomara aprecio a la música y el primer instrumento en el que se fijó fue la batería, luego pasó al bajo y posteriormente a la guitarra. Fue en 1983, luego de la muerte de Muddy Waters, que Morganfield comenzó a tomarse en serio su carrera musical pero sólo debuto bien entrado en la edad de 50 años y ya está próximo a cumplir 58. “Son of The Seventh Son” es apenas su segunda producción y suena como si fuera un músico con una amplia trayectoria, ofreciendo un set de canciones, tanto originales como versiones, en los que rinde un gran homenaje a su padre. La voz de “Mud” Morganfield es punzante, es energética, y la muestra con mucho orgullo, recordando aquellas épocas en que Muddy Waters lideraba lo mejor de Chess Records. A esto hay que añadir que lo acompañan algunos de los mejores músicos de Chicago, como el pianista Barrelhouse Chuck, el bajista E.G. McDaniel, el baterista “Beedy Eyes” Smith, el guitarrista Billy Flyyn y el armonicista Bob Corritore.

– Diego Luis


Blues CD of the Week (July 14, 2012)

Mud Morganfield, the eldest son of blues legend Muddy Waters, returns with one of the best all around Chicago blues albums to be released in a long, long time. At 57, he not only re…sembles his famous father, he sounds a lot like his dad as well. But make no mistake, Mud is very much his own man as he makes abundantly clear right from the start on the opening number, a tough cover of J.T. Brown’s “Short Dress Woman.” Producer Bob Corritore has assembled what amounts to being the closest we’re ever going to get to hearing a band as genuine and as tough as Muddy Waters’ mid-70s band, with a killer line-up that includes Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith on drums, Rick Kreher and Billy Flynn on guitar, Barrelhouse Chuck on keyboards, E.G. McDaniel on bass, and Harmonica Hines and Bob Corritore sharing the harp duties. This truly is the crème de la crème of modern blues ensemble playing and each of these 12 tracks conveys the attitude, swagger, and confidence of Mud’s Father’s finest bands. Morganfield wrote seven of these tracks, all of which are superb, with “Love to Flirt,” the funky “Catfishing,” “Health,” “Midnight Lover” and the rollicking “Blues in My Shoes” rising to the top. Billy Flynn’s “Money (Can’t Buy You Everything),” Corritore’s “Go Ahead And Blame Me,” and the pure swagger found on Studebaker John’s title cut add to the diversity and overall quality of the songwriting here. There’s a fine cover of “You Can’t Lose What You Never Had” but the track that genuinely jumped out at me was Mud’s original “Leave Me Alone,” a true scorcher on an album packed with them. Don’t miss out on this terrific set by one the hottest bluesmen out there, backed by the best band in the business. This is as unadulterated as Chicago blues gets. Hard again, indeed.

– Rob Lehrian


Vintage Guitar Magazine (July 2012)

Billed as the “eldest boy child” of Muddy Waters (born McKinley Morganfield), Mud Morganfield is one of several of that music immortal’s “outside” children. The younger Morganfield was born Larry Williams, a name forgone for one that reflects the connection to his dad and to his blues singing younger half-brother, Big Bill Morganfield.

Muddy was a great guitar player who was also accompanied by other great guitar players throughout his career. Mud doesn’t play guitar here, and, unlike hisdad, he didn’t have Buddy Guy, Jimmy Rogers, Sammy Lawhorn, Johnny Winter, Bob Margolin, Luther Tucker, or Hubert Sumlin around. However, he does have two outstanding contemporary blues guitarists in the Chicago Bluesmasters’Rick Kreher and the Cash Box Kings’ Billy Flynn. Like his work with the Kings, Billy Boy Arnold, and Big Bill, Flynn’s playing is another bright spot on his consistently impressive resume. His sharp but understated solo in “Loco Motion” is a model of economy and taste, and in the title cut he and Kreher lurk in the shadows of the lower octaves, providing serpentine accents while producer Bob Corritore blows harp in the instrumental foreground. On “Short Dress Woman,” the oldschool approach of bassist E.G. McDaniel and drummer Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith combine with Morganfield’s purposeful adopting of some of his father’s idiosyncrasies, like his dramatic stutter in “Catfishing,” pronouncing “man” as “main,” and a certain shared family vocal timbre help further a deliberate evocation of Muddy Waters. Neither Mud nor Big Bill is Muddy Waters, of course. But both are worthy caretakers of his legacy, and both are capable of creating their own.

– RA


Sur La Route De Memphis (France) (July 2012)

(5 Stars) Avec ses traits de visage et as voix, Larry ’Mud’ EST bien Le fils de son père (Muddy Waters pour ceux qui NE l’auraint pas reconnu). Il vient de débarquer sur cette marque, où IL EST produit et accompagné à l’harmonica par un tenant du vrai blues, Bob Corritore, bénéficiant aussi des services de Barrelhouse Chuck au piano et à l’orgue et les autres musicos sont au diapason. Tout ce petit monde nouse offre un blues de Chicago, généralement medium, deux ballades bluesy un peu soul, un soupçon de rythme néo-orléanais sur le dernier morceau. Les deux perles se trouvent au début et au milieu, deux superbes rockin’ blues enlevés comme on les aime. “Short Dress Woman“ et “Loco-motion“, qui font juste regretter qu’il n’y en ait pas davantage.

– B.B.


La Hora Del Blues (Spain) (July 2012)

Mud Morganfield “Son Of The Seven Son”. Severn 2012. Grabado en Chicago y producido por una persona excelente y gran conocedor del género como es Bob Corritore, este álbum catapulta definitivamente a Mud Morganfield como un auténtico dinosaurio que no necesita hacer publicidad del ilustre apellido de su padre para demostrar al mundo que es un inmenso y gigantesco cantante de blues. “Son Of The Seven Son” incluye siete canciones compuestas por el propio Mud y algunas otras que nos ayudan también a situarlo como un más que notable compositor, una faceta quizás algo desconocida hasta el momento y que ahora sale a la luz para impulsarlo todavía más si cabe como un artista completo y con carácter. En este intenso y profundo álbum, Mud Morganfield está acompañado por algunos de los mejores exponentes del actual blues de Chicago, todos ellos músicos de primera fila como son Billy Flynn y Rick Kreher guitarras, E.G. McDaniel bajo, Barrelhouse Chuck piano y órgano, Kenny Smith batería y finalmente Harmonica Hinds y Bob Corritore armónicas. Naturalmente la poderosa y elocuente voz de Mud Morganfield planea por encima de todo ello La afición mundial del blues necesita conocer la existencia de este disco que seguro cambiará el rumbo de su existencia. MUY BUENO. Recorded in Chicago and produced by an excellent person and great blues connoisseur named Bob Corritore, this album definitely launches Mud Morganfield as a real star who does not need to use the his father’s name to prove he is a huge amazing blues singer. “Son Of The Seven Son” includes seven Mud’s own songs and some others that also help us to qualify him it as a more than notable song writer, a facet quite unknown so far and that now comes up to push him further on as a complete personal artist. In this intense deep album, Mud Morganfield is backed by some of the best names of the actual Chicago blues, all them first class musicians, like Billy Flynn and Rick Kreher guitars, E.G. McDaniel bass, Barrelhouse Chuck piano and organ, Kenny Smith drums and finally, Harmonica Hinds and Bob Corritore harmonica. Of course the powerful and eloquent voice of Mud Morganfield plans above all. Blues fans around the world need to know the existence of this album that surely will change their lives. ESSENTIAL.

– Vicente “Harmonica” Zumel


Crossroads Blues (June 19, 2012)

Having a famous parent can be a real burden for any child, especially if that child decides to follow the same career path. And when that parent has attained iconic status, expectations can bury the offspring before they can find their voice.

Larry “Mud” Morganfield embraces his father’s legacy, which might be the only way you can go as the first-born son of the legendary Muddy Waters. Morganfield’s vocal tone and phrasing are often similar to Muddy’s. Repeated listens show that Mud is not intentionally copying his father – rather he embraces his lineage, totally comfortable in the knowledge that he has the talent to find his own niche. His laid-backed style meshes perfectly with a program that favors slow to mid-tempo songs, including seven originals penned by Morganfield.Producer Bob Corritore once again shows his deep understanding of the traditional electric blues genre. He surrounds Morganfield with an all-star line-up that includes Rick Kreher and Billy Flynn on guitar, Barrelhouse Chuck on piano, E.G. McDaniel on bass and Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith. McDaniel Corritore and Harmonica Hinds split the harmonica duties. McDaniel and Smith certainly understand the pressure that Morganfield faces. McDaniel’s father, Floyd, was a singer/guitarist who was long-time fixture on the Chicago blues and jazz scenes, recording for Delmark Records late in his career. Kenny’s father – the late, great Willie “Big Eyes” Smith – served a long stint as Muddy Waters drummer.

Morganfield captures the essence of his father’s sound on the title track, penned by Studebaker John Grimaldi, a song filled familiar imagery pulled from Water’s best-known material. “Love to Flirt” describes a woman with troubling ways, sending Morganfield to his minister for help only to find out that she has already hit on the pastor. You’d expect a song about fishing to be more upbeat but “Catfishin’ “ has a more somber feel to it. Morganfield turns in one of his strongest vocals and Barrelhouse Chuck enlivens the proceedings with his Farfisa organ. Another highlight is the minor key slow blues “Midnight Lover”, with Morganfield eloquently relating his back-door man activities.

A cover of “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had” has the band perfectly capturing Muddy’s distinctive sound, with Flynn adding some taut slide guitar licks. “Health” is a Morganfield original that preaches that the riches of this world mean little if you aren’t healthy enough to enjoy them. Barrelhouse Chuck once again provides a boost on the Farfisa organ and Corritore blows some mean harp. The rollicking opening track, “Short Dress Woman”, has another strong vocal from the leader while Barrelhouse Chuck shines on the piano and Corritore once distinguishes himself on harmonica. Another Mud original, “Blues in My Shoes”, has Smith laying down a tight, propulsive rhythm while Hinds makes expert use of his harp to fill out the arrangement while Morganfield describes the trials of growing up on Chicago’s west side.

Just when it seemed like blues music was careening off in all directions, we have been blessed with several releases that prove that there is still life in the traditional blues format. In a recent conversation that I had with Billy Flynn, he praised Mud Morganfield as being a genuine, down-to-earth man who is excited to have the opportunity to share his talent with the world while honoring his legendary father. He has certainly done that – and then some on this recommended release that will undoubtedly get plenty of consideration for this year’s blues music awards.

– Mark Thompson


Blues Time In The City (June 18, 2012)

There’s only one Muddy Waters. There is only one Johnny Taylor. At least that’s what I thought. When Floyd Taylor first came on the scene, I would have bet my last dime that it was Johnnie. The sound, the resemblance, and the mannerisms told me that I could not be wrong. But I was. It was Johnnie’s son, Floyd Taylor. Now, it’s happening again, but only this time it’s Larry Williams. Larry goes in the name of Mud Morganfield, the eldest son of McKinley Morganfield, better known to the world as Muddy Waters.

Mud Morganfield released “Son of the Seventh Son” in January of this year, and I just really started paying attention to it. For the record, Muddy is one of my all time favorite blues artists. His “Muddy Mississippi Waters Live” is, in my opinion, the best blues album ever recorded. So for me, there will never be another. But listening to Mud’s BCD (blues compact disc), I may have to take those words back. We will only find out in due time, but he’s the closest thing out there

From the opening song to the last, you hear Mud Morganfield, the son of Muddy Waters. The voice, the growl, the looks, even the hair is so Muddy Waters. This is not an act by Mud, but the genuineness of the bloodline of a talented blues family

The BCD was produced by Bob Corritore who’s no stranger to the blues. When you listen to the BCD, you will hear the works of Bob on the harmonica, and another pleasant surprise is the drummer. Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith is the son of former Muddy Waters’ drummer, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. And, there’s Rick Kreher on guitar who once played for Muddy. The musicians presented here are a who’s who is Chicago Blues.

How fitting that the generation of now is able to experience the likeness of Muddy Waters with the pure power and energy that Mud is doing. Only two of the songs on this BCD are songs that his father did and the rest are originals, mostly penned by Mud.

Mud is to be commended for his work on this BCD. He’s already an international star, and now his artistry is gaining momentum in the states. It’s kind of ironic; Muddy worked from the inside of the states out, and Mud is working his way outside of the states in.

By the way, my favorite song on the BCD is “Son Of The Seventh,” which tells the entire story. You just got to know where he’s coming from to understand this.

You will hear a lot of “Son Of The Seventh Son” on BluesTime In The City for some time to come. I Love Chicago Style Blues, and if this is any indication, which it is, Chicago Blues is here to stay.

– R-R-Rojene Bailey, HOST OF “BLUESTIME IN THE CITY”


Blues News Finland (June 4, 2012)

Paholaisen pojanpoika
Mud Morganfield yllättää albumillaan “Son of the Seventh Son”. Hän ei apinoi isäänsä Muddy Watersia, vaan esiintyy väkevästi edukseen loistava Chicago-bändi tukenaan.

Olenkohan koskaan lähestynyt mitään albumia näin varovaisesti, jopa epäillen? Big Bill Morganfieldin ja John Lee Hooker Jr:n kannoilla esiin kömpii taas yksi blues-legendan poika iso palkkasekki mielessään. No, levyhän ei voi olla hyvä – paitsi että se on!

Kenen tahansa muun tekemänä tähän albumiin suhtauduttaisiin aivan eri tavalla. Kriitikot ylistäisivät uskomatonta autenttisuutta ja upeaa perinnetietoisuutta. Mutta kun kyseessä on Mud Morganfield, Muddy Watersin poika, tyydytään toteamaan: “Ei hän mikään Muddy ole.”Ei tosiaan ole, vaikka hän isältään kuulostaakin ja taustalla soittaa mainio Chicago-tyylinen yhtye. Levyllä on bluesiakin enemmän kuin Buddy Guyn kolmella viime cd:llä yhteensä. Tohtiiko enempää pyytää?

Bob Corritore on tehnyt tuottajana erinomaista työtä. Bändi kuulostaa samalta kuin Watersin studio-orkesteri 60-luvun lopulla ja 70-luvun alussa – ei “Electric Mud” -bändi vaan se toinen, muistattehan?Ehkä suurin ansio yhtyeen kokonaissoinnista lankeaa rumpali Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smithille, Muddyn pitkäaikaisen rumpalin Willie “Big Eyes” Smithin pojalle. Harva tietää, kuinka vaikeaa tänä päivänä on löytää blues-rumpali, joka ei ole turhautunut hard rock -sankari… Mutta jos rummut eivät svengaa, kaikki on pilalla. Soittivat muut sitten miten hyvin tahansa. Kenny Smith on todella, todella hyvä – ja saa muutkin venymään parhaaseensa.

Corritore ja Harmonica Hinds vuorottelevat huuliharpisteina. Rick Kreher ja Billy Flynn ovat kitaroissa, E.G. McDaniel bassossa sekä Barrelhouse Chuck pianossa ja uruissa.

Yksi ulottuvuus – varsinkin hitaammissa numeroissa – puuttuu: Muddyn tyylinen slide-kitara. Flynnin sävellyksellä “Money (Can’t Buy Everything)” on hieman slideä, mutta se on tyyliltään enemmän Earl Hookeria; kun mukana ovat vielä urut, mieleen nousee “You Shook Me” -kappaleen tapaiset teokset (Earl Hookerin biisit, joiden päälle dubattiin myöhemmin Muddyn laulu).

Illuusio särkyy, kun ilmoille kajahtaa yksi yhteen -kopio Muddyn klassikosta “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had”. Miksi edes mainitsin Muddyn sliden? Miksi ihmeessä haluttiin tehdä lainabiisi, joka on vaivaannuttavan samanlainen kuin originaali? Se ei todista muuta kuin sen, että ennen oli ennen ja nyt on nyt; ainoa muuttunut asia on kehittynyt studiotekniikka. Ja se on huono korvike luovuudelle.

Mutta eipä yksi huti 12 kappaleen joukossa ole huono tilasto. Toinen Waters-laina “Short Dress Woman” vieläpä maksaa velan korkojen kanssa takaisin. Vaikka Larry “Mud” Morganfield ei ole aikamme suuria sanoittajia (kuuntele vaikka kappaleen “Health” tekstiä), biiseissä on enemmän originaliteettia kuin hänen työkavereillaan.Studebaker Johnin “Son of the Seventh Son” nimittäin käyttää kaikki Muddy Waters–Willie Dixon -aisaparin hoodoo-sanaston termit, Corritoren “Go Ahead and Blame Me” on “Rock Me” ja “Champagne & Reefer” yhdessä paketissa ja vaatimattomammin sanoin. Ovatko Mudin soittokaverit kiinnostuneempia Muddy Watersin apinoinnista vai tuntevatko he vain miehen musiikin paremmin?

Kymmenet ja kymmenet artistit yrittävät edelleen kuulostaa Muddy Watersilta. Useimpien kohtalona on epäonnistuminen. Tässä meillä on kuitenkin yksi, joka onnistuu hankkeissaan. “Son of the Seventh Son” on oiva levyllinen Chicago-bluesia – hyvin soitettu, hyvin laulettu ja rakkaudella tuotettu. Jopa Al Brandtnerin graafinen suunnittelu on hienoa ja iskee naulan kantaan. Kannattaa tutustua!

– Andres Roots


Le CRI de Coyote (France) (May / June 2012)

Ceux qui ont oublié le patronyme réel du papa sauront de suite de qui Larry Mud est le fils en voyant la pochette et en l’entendant chanter : illustration parfaite du dicton tel père, tel fils. Pour son 1er album sur sa nouvelle marque, il bénéficie des services de Bob Corritore, spécialiste du vrai blues, et ça se sent à la production et à l’harmonica, de Barrelhouse Chuck (Charles Goering), autre spécialiste pur jus au piano et à l’orgue (qui, pour une fois, passe bien), d’un autre très bon harmoniciste, Harmonica Hines, et il en va itou pour les guitaristes Rick Kreher et Billy Flynn. Musicalement, c’est bien du blues de Chicago, dans la lignée paternelle, avec surtout des titres medium, deux ballades bluesy mélodieuses un peu soul, un soupçon de rythme néo-orléanais sur le dernier morceau. Les deux perles se trouvent en tête au milieu, avec deux superbes rockin’ blues guillerets et sautillants, Short dress woman et Loco-motion, qui me font regretter qu’il n’y en ait pas plus.

– Bernard Boyat


Blues In The Northwest (May 25, 2012)

To be born the eldest son of the legendary Muddy Waters and then decide to follow in his shoes and play the riveting Chicago blues his dad was famous for, to me, takes a lot of courage . . . especially as Mud, known as Larry when growing up on the West Side of the city . . . only decided as late as 2005 to seriously sing the blues professionally, having sung since the 1980s.

Since then he has summoned up the spirit of his late father with utterly convincing live shows that has seen him become hugely popular in Europe and South America, and has appeared at some major US events. The voice and demeanour of him means this is the blues that his father was master of, brought up to date, yet still retaining the classic swagger and feel of the Chicago heydays of the 50s and 60s.

“Son Of The Seventh Son” was recorded in just two days last year at Rax Trax Studios in Chicago, produced by Bob Corritore, who shares the harmonica duties here with Harmonica Hinds. The rest of the band is a collection of seasoned Chicago musicians comprising: Rick Kreher (guitar), Billy Flynn (guitar), Barrelhouse Chuck (keyboards), E.G. McDaniel (bass) and Kenny ‘Beedy Eyes’ Smith (drums) . . . who forges a link to the glorious past, being the son of the late Kenny ‘Big Eyes’ Smith, who was of course on drums for many years in Muddy Waters band.

Proceedings get off to a rousing start on a tune associated with Muddy, the uptempo “Short Dress Woman”, featuring a trademark Mud Morganfield tough vocal and nice piano solo from Barrelhouse Chuck; the title cut follows, Studebaker John’s “Son Of The Seventh Son”, with shades of “I’m A Man”, and some great harmonica work from Bob Corritore. Morganfield shows he’s no slouch in the writing stakes either . . . his “Love To Flirt” is a delicious shuffle that fairly rattles along, with Harmonica Hinds stepping out on this to deliver more fine harmonica.

“Catfishing” again has that classic Chicago blues feel, but with a funky edge delivered by the guitars of Kreher and Flynn and Barrelhouse Chuck on organ; the lengthy slow blues “Health” relaxes the pace a little, as Mud waxes on the importance of good health as opposed to money and fame . . . how true! The tempo is taken up on the lovely “Loco Motor”, another Morganfield song as he proposes to journey to New Orleans – super harmonica work again here from Harmonica Hinds.

Guitarist Billy Flynn contributes “Money (Can’t Buy Me Everything)” and Bob Corritore the harmonica-led “Go Ahead And Blame Me”, with stellar performances from all, and special mention to the rock-steady ‘engine room’ of E.G. McDaniel and Kenny ‘Beedy Eyes’ Smith. The penultimate track here is a lovely authentic take on Muddy Waters “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had” . . . again thoroughly convincing with some glorious slide guitar and Barrelhouse Chuck’s always sparkling piano

For lovers of the ‘real deal’ Chicago blues “Son Of The Seventh Son” must be an essential purchase . . . shut your eyes and imagine, and this could be Muddy leading one of his classic bands in his pomp . . . . the past brought up to date in a most enjoyable and acceptable way.

– Grahame Rhodes


Blitz Magazine (May 22, 2012)

While such periphery as genealogy is not necessarily an accurate barometer for discerning the potential of a given artist, it is nonetheless within reason to infer that there have been a fair number of musicians whose demonstrated abilities were also evidenced in previous generations within their own families. To that effect, witness the impressive track records of Rick Nelson, Hank Williams Jr., Nancy Sinatra, Gary Lewis and Tom Guard. Each has succeeded in establishing their own legacies to the degree that comparisons to accomplishments within their respective family trees are superfluous, at best.

But in the case of the Chicago, Illinois based vocalist/songwriter, Larry “Mud” Morganfield, invoking genealogical references is both welcome and encouraged. As the son of blues legend McKinley “Muddy Waters” Morganfield, Mud Morganfield has openly embraced his father’s legacy; using it as the catalyst in establishing what seems certain to become an impressive body of work of his own.

To that effect, Morganfield’s Severn Records debut certainly does both camps justice. Purist factions will delight in the sympathetic production, which stays as faithful to the Chess/Checker/Argo/Cadet template as possible. In turn, Morganfield’s gifts as a composer reflect not only a thorough understanding of that template, but his innate ability to expand its parameters without compromise.

To wit, Morganfield’s original Love To Flirt is classic Muddy Waters, with a subtle Christian witness that speaks volumes for both Morganfield’s integrity and the timelessness of the sentiment. Likewise, his mid-tempo romp, Catfishing demonstrates considerable discernment and execution of the double entendre motif indigenous to the idiom; rendered appropriately enough with a sympathetic nod to the passing of the torch from Chess/Checker/Argo/Cadet to Malaco, Alligator and others.

Conversely, while mindful of the timeless elements that characterize the most consequential blues outings (best demonstrated in his reality check, Health), Morganfield does not hesitate to put things in perspective. He does so in the most magnificently understated of ways, as his rollicking Loco Motor does by combining Rocket 88-like exuberance with a matter of fact rallying cry for the beleaguered city of New Orleans, Louisiana. He follows suit with guitarist Billy Flynn’s Money (Can’t Buy Everything), which addresses a current and potentially divisive concern in the most universal and rallying of terms.

Indeed, by presenting the potential focal point in matter of fact fashion, Morganfield has succeeded in appeasing both factions without compromise. Credit must also go not only to guitarist Flynn, but to the most impressive supporting cast of guitarist Rick Kreher, keyboardsman Charles “Barrelhouse Chuck” Goering, bassist E.G. McDaniel, drummer Kenny Smith and harmonicists Bob Corritore (who also served as the album’s producer) and Harmonica Hinds (whose most impressive curriculum vitae includes collaborations with such greats as Koko Taylor, Pinetop Perkins and Willie Dixon); all of whom have herein not surprisingly managed to sidestep the pedestrian results common to many blues and blues rock endeavors. As the closing track suggests, Morganfield has the Blues In His Shoes, and he wears them quite well.

– Michael McDowell


Parcbench (May 10, 2012)

Mud is an intriguing first name. I don’t hear it often, but I like it. It gets right to the point. Without having met a Mud, although I may not know all of the qualities that add up to make him who he is, I somehow feel confident in my hunch about who he isn’t. He isn’t slippery, transparent or ambivalent. With a name like Mud, how could he be? And so it is with Mud Morganfield. As embodied by his music, Mud Morganfield is earthy in the best sense; rich with texture and substantial in purpose.

Morganfield brings with him a personal relationship with the blues genre; he is, after all, the son of the late, great Muddy Waters. That being said, it’s foolish to think that he hasn’t earned his own strong reputation as one of the great blues artists formed in the Chicago clubs and festival scene.

Son of the Seventh Son is an album that struts its stuff with a cleverness that makes its inherent honesty more palatable. This is comfortable, definitive, old-school Chicago blues that puts emotion at the forefront of the song and makes its point clearly. Produced by Bob Corritore (who, along with Harmonica Hines, doubles on harmonica on several tracks), the album features a band that includes such top players as drummer Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, keyboardist Barrelhouse Chuck, bassist E.G. McDaniel and guitarists Billy Flynn and Rick Kreher.

If you’re hoping to hear the inspiration of his father in his music, you won’t be disappointed. The special gifts alluded to in the title of this album are abundant. The Muddy Waters style is somewhere in almost every song. But the best part of this is that Mud treats each song as a potential contemporary classic, keeping the best of tradition without embellishing it unnecessarily with modern decoration. What he is, he sings, and what he sings is both deep and simple…. like his first name.

– Geg Victor


FNAC (France) (May 7, 2012)

(5 Stars!)

Le milieu de la musique l’a déjà prouvé, les aptitudes et le talent musical peuvent se transmettre à travers les gènes. Ce qui est le plus étonnant encore, c’est qu’en plus d’une ressemblance physique logique, certains enfants de ses musiciens célèbres peuvent par un mimétisme surprenant et souvent inconscient, retrouver les sonorités spécifiques de leurs géniteurs avec un réalisme troublant. Des exemples comme : Bob Marley et fils, Tim Buckley et fils ou Bob Dylan et fils en sont la preuve. Voici une nouvelle illustration de cette théorie avec le fils ainé de Muddy Waters (le plus grand joueur de Blues de tous les temps !), qui a puisé son don pour le chant et pour jouer le Blues dans l’ADN de papa.

On connaissait Big Bill Morganfield le petit frère qui a déjà une carrière brillante derrière lui, voici donc aujourd’hui le trésor le mieux caché de Chicago : Larry Williams rebaptisé pour la scène : Mud Morganfield, l’autre fils de McKinley Morganfield plus connu sous le nom de… Muddy Waters le roi du Chicago Blues ! Bien sûr comme beaucoup d’enfants de musiciens réputés, c’est sa maman, Mildred (avec qui il pose fièrement sur la photo intérieure de la pochette de cet album et devant un portrait touchant de ses parents réunis à la grande époque), qui l’a élevé car son père était le plus souvent aux quatre coins du monde pour délivrer son Blues au cours de tournées incessantes. Lorsque l’immense Muddy nous quitte en 1983, le jeune Larry n’a pas encore 20 ans, malgré cela ce n’est pas avant 2005 qu’il décide de devenir musicien professionnel. Je le découvre alors avec un CD en autoproduction et à la distribution confidentielle, intitulé : Fall Waters Fall, et même si on descelle une influence énorme de son légendaire paternel, son identité n’est pas encore véritablement façonnée et définie.

Avec ce nouveau disque enregistré à Chicago sous la houlette de l’harmoniciste/producteur Bob Corritore, sur le label qui monte : Severn Records, la plus grosse surprise de ces dernières années en matière de Blues va être dévoilée devant les yeux ébahis du monde des amateurs de la note bleue. Ceci avec l’aide d’une équipe de musiciens experts du genre et remplie de fils de, en forme de clin d’oeil : l’excellent batteur : Kenny (Beedy Eyes) Smith (fils de Willie Smith ex-batteur de Muddy Waters), le bassisteE.G McDaniel (fils du grand guitariste Floyd McDaniel), complétée par les guitaristes Rick Kreher (le dernier à avoir fait partie du Muddy Waters Band) et Billy Flynn, le pianiste Barrelhouse Chuck ainsi que les harmonicistes : Harmonica Hinds et le maître d’oeuvre de ce projet : Bob Corritore, qui se passent le relais tous au long des plages de cet opus.

Comme vous avez pu le comprendre je suis un inconditionnel du grand Muddy que je place au sommet du panthéon de mes Bluesmen préférés, donc je n’accepte aucune contrefaçon, ni imitation moyenne de mon idole. Pourtant à peine ai-je mis ce disque dans ma platine que je fus scotché par la ressemblance vocale de Mud Junior. Dès les premières mesures de ce Short Dress Woman que daddy avait enregistré en 1964, le timbre de voix, le phrasé saccadé, les tonalités tantôt nasillardes et soudainement graves et chaudes, la façon de faire swinguer les mots avec autorité en mettant l’accent sur certaines syllabes, tout est là ! Avec ce tempo relevé et mené de main de maître par la rythmique de batterie infernale de Kenny Smith, nous remémorant l’éternel : Got My Mojo Working, le fantôme de McKinley Morganfield a pris possession de ma platine. Le groupe est au diapason rajoutant l’impression vraiment saisissant d’être retourné à la grande époque dans les studios Chess au 2120 south Michigan Avenue aux début des 50’s et que Willie Dixon se trouve derrière la console aux côtés des frères Chess ! Une autre reprise empruntée cette fois au combo de Studebaker John : les Maxwell Street Kings (dont le guitariste Rick Kreher fait aussi partie) et leur remarquable album : That’s The Way You Do (précédemment chroniqué sur ce blog), Son Of The Seventh Son, délivrée avec une atmosphère sombre, inquiétante et mystique à souhait, voici enfin le moment de juger du talent d’écriture de Muddy Jr, avec le truculent : Love To Flirt. Un Chicago Shuffle classique avec une intro de piano digne de Pinetop Perkins, sur lequel notre homme nous conte les problèmes qu’il a avec sa “Baby” qui adore flirter avec d’autres gars aussitôt qu’il a le dos tourné ! Le bouquet c’est bien sur lorsqu’il va voir le pasteur pour l’aider et que celui-ci lui répond qu’il ne peut rien faire car il vient juste de flirter avec elle ! Voilà un exemple parfait de l’humour décapant, typique et trop méconnu lié au Blues, dont Mud semble avoir parfaitement assimilé les préceptes d’écritures. Il en est de même avec le titre suivant : Catfishing, (ce ne sont pas des poissons qu’il compte attraper avec sa longue canne à pêche !), donnant l’occasion d’apprécier la virtuosité de tous les membres du groupe, avec tour à tour un solo de guitare, d’harmonica du vétéran Harmonica Hinds, et de Barrelhouse Chuck à l’orgue au son sixtie’s.

Mud peut aussi prendre la parole pour donner des leçons de philosophie de vie, et traiter de sujets moins légers comme avec ce : Health, un slow Blues où il prend un timbre vocal un peu plus personnel pour nous déclarer que le plus important c’est la santé ! Où ce titre écrit par Billy Flynn aux faux airs de I’m Ready, nous rappelant que l’argent n’achète pas tout : Money Can’t Buy Everything, avec un Mr Flynn à la guitare comme à son habitude discret et toujours d’une justesse de ton remarquable. Il faut aussi souligner le savoir faire exceptionnel de Barrelhouse Chuck, sublime tout au long de cet enregistrement que ce soit à l’orgue ou au piano comme sur ce Slow Blues très West Side Sound en mineur, le mélancolique : Midnight Lover.

C’est après une deuxième cover que papa avait sorti en 45 tours toujours en 1964, le lancinant: You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had, plus vrai que nature, sonnant comme une version remasterisée de l’original, et un dernier Blues au groove Funky à la Son Seals, l’autobiographique : Blues In My Shoes, sur lequel Mr Morganfield revendique son droit lui aussi à chanter le Blues, que se referme cette galette. Il est vrai que remettre les chaussures de “Pops”, comme il l’appelle, n’est pas une chose aisée, mais le fiston s’en sort vraiment bien. Il s’agit là d’un hommage et d’un héritage dignement revendiqué et authentique envers le travail de son père. Comme il le dit avec humilité et l’humour très imagé caractéristique du Blues : Il est la pomme tombée de l’arbre !

Pour ma part je n’ai malheureusement jamais pu voir le grand Muddy en concert, et je suis sûr que le Mud Jr avec cette maturité acquise, doit vraiment faire illusion sur scène, l’esprit de “Pops” étant à ses côtés. Peu importe le flacon pourvu qu’on ait l’ivresse !

Voici encore un des meilleurs disques de Blues de l’année, et encore une fois avec le génial Bob Corritore aux commandes !

– Philippe


Hampton Roads (May 4, 2012)

The first national release by Muddy Waters’ oldest son, Larry “Mud” Morganfield, builds on the earthy, raw blues perfected by his iconic father.

The appropriately titled recording clearly demonstrates the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. But make no mistake, Morganfield forges his own identity and songs while celebrating the style developed by his dad.

The Chicago-recorded project was lovingly helmed by top producer Bob Corritore, who also doubles as one of the session’s harmonica players. Working with original compositions that sound as if ghost-written by his legendary pop, Morganfield fronts a band that includes such top session players as drummer Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, keyboardist Barrelhouse Chuck and guitarist Billy Flynn. He keeps the proceedings strictly old-school ’50s and ’60s Chicago-style with no rock overtones or modern touches.

– Eric Feber


Blues Again! (France) (May 2012)

Muddy Waters a eu de nombreux héritiers spirituels, mais bon sang ne sachant mentir ses descendants directs lui font également honneur. Dans la famille Morganfield on connaissait déjà Big Bill, voici son grand frère Larry alias Mud. Portrait craché de son père, il met ses pas dans ceux de son géniteur pour notre plus grand plaisir en dispensant un Chicago blues contemporain de la meilleure veine. Evitant le piège de la copie, Mud Morganfield ne se sert de l’apport paternel que comme d’un tremplin pour son propre talent. Produit par Bob Corritore et enregistré à Chicago, Mud Morganfield, connu comme batteur et bassiste, se limite au chant sur cet enregistrement. Chanteur très expressif, il est soutenu par un super groupe, Rick Kreher et Billy Flynn (guitares), Barrelhouse Chuck (claviers), Kenny Smith (batterie), EG McDaniel(basse), et Harmonica Hinds ou Bob Corritore à l’harmonica selon les titres. Hormis une seule reprise du grand Muddy (‘You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had’), et un titre signé J.T Brown (‘Short Dress Woman’), le disque présente dix compositions originales. Sept (nombre magique) de la main de Mud Morganfield, une signée Studebaker John Grimaldi, une attribuée à Billy Flynn et une autre à Bob Corritore.

– Gilles Blampain


Blues-E-News.com (April 24, 2012)

So I received the CD, popped into the playa and go about my day. Listening again and again driving in the car surfing the net and even found myself jamming along on Harmonica several times! As I listen I feel like I’m stepping back in time, walking into a smoky Chicago juke joint on a cold rainy night. This album oozes old school Bluesy blues… Bob’s harp work is nice and tight following Tail Draggers every word. Hot n Sticky muddy Classic Chicago Blues. The album title is true to its name. Some might be surprised that Corritore and Tail Dragger actually are long time friends. First meeting the day after Wolf passed in 1976 at a tribute to Wolf and became friends. Additionally there is a great assembly of Chicago musicians including Piano legend Henry Gray (former Howlin’ Wolf pianist ) who trades singing wit Mr. Dragger on Sugar Mama.

My three favorite songs on this album are “Cold Outdoors” about getting in trouble with his woman and being locked out side in the cold. He really makes you feel for his ply. We all make mistakes right! Next is “So Ezee” song with a message it’s easy to be misled, so wake up and pay attention to your world. Thirdly, “Boogie Woogie Ball” is my favorite song on the album. It’s a great moving song featuring Henry’s great piano playing and Bob’s fine harmonica skill. They appear to really enjoying themselves and Mr. Dragger jokes along the whole song about good stuff!

“This album is really nice and reminds me of why I love the blues. It just takes you some place, a nice place! Smooth and relaxing slow steady swinging blues.”

– Big Wayne Rinehart


Driftwood (April 19, 2012)

It’s never easy being the son of a major dad as Mud Morganfield is to his father, the legendary Muddy Waters, since comparisons are always inevitable and often unjust. Yet, it’s also a crime to waste God-given talent, which Muddy’s eldest son finally acknowledges with his debut disc at the ripe ole age of 57. Though he’s known for thumping bass, here he drops the axe and focuses solely on vocals, which tone-wise and stylistically bear an uncanny and haunting resemblance to those of his father. The atmospheric, spacious arrangements are similarly rooted in Muddy’s era with lots of loose, spontaneous guitar-piano-harmonica interplay on the various shuffles, mid-tempo strutters and slow groovers, making this one of the better old school Chicago blues CDs to come along in some time. (Interestingly, Rick Kreher, one of the two guitarists featured here, played in Muddy’s band at the time his death.)

While there is a deep reverence to one of blues most innovative talents, Mud’s not shy about revealing one of his own gifts, songwriting, penning the lion’s share with seven tracks. Most are in the Chicago style, though “Catfishing” has a touch of contemporary soul, Mud’s music of choice growing up on Chicago’s tough West Side. He has a flair for interest-piquing storytelling, like “Midnight Lover” where an adulterous protagonist can’t stop his midnight service calls. Better yet is the closing track, “Blues in My Shoes” where Mud unabashedly tells his life story with no holds barred. No question that Mud has lived his life with the blues, making him a real deal instead of another great pretender.

– Dan Willging


Disco Club (Italy) (April 18, 2012)

Bob Corritore è una sorta di “spalla di lusso” per altri musicisti. Armonicista ma non cantante, i suoi album sono o delle All-star jam ricche di ospiti (tipo Harmonica Blues, recensito da chi scrive un paio di anni fa) bob%20corritore o delle collaborazioni paritarie con leggendari artisti blues, meglio se cantanti, come nel caso di questo Longtime Friends In The Blues. Entrambi cultori del Chicago Blues più ortodosso si conoscono da molti anni, come certificato dal titolo dell’album, e precisamente dal 1976, il giorno dopo la morte di Howlin’ Wolf ad un concerto che lo commemorava. Tail Dragger, all’anagrafe James Yancy Jones prende il nome d’arte proprio da un brano del “lupo” e un altro dei principali protagonisti di questo disco, il pianista Henry Gray è stato il pianista della band di Howlin Wolf nel periodo migliore del grande Bluesman (1956-1968). Esaurite le curiosità, o meglio ce n’è ancora una, Gray nato nel 1925 come BB King, è un altro dei più longevi artisti del Blues ancora in attività, dopo la scomparsa lo scorso anno di Pinetop Perkins e Honeboy Edwards. E lo dimostra in una tostissima Sugar mama, l’unica cover di questo album, cantata in coppia con Tail Dragger. Ottimi i due chitarristi che si dividono i compiti in questa ennesima uscita della Delta Groove, ormai sinonimo di qualità, Kirk Fletcher e Colin James e la sezione ritmica dal suono classico del West Side come Patrick Rynn, basso e Brian Fahey, batteria.

Il resto lo fa il repertorio, nove brani scritti da Jones, dal suono classico ma non mummificato come purtroppo ogni tanto suonano i dischi di blues classico attuali. Tail Dragger ha un vocione ancora importante e vissuto, Bob Corritore soffia nell’armonica con vigore e ottima tecnica, il piano di Henry Gray è sempre presente e incisivo e brani come l’iniziale I’m Worried, dal suono molto influenzato da Howlin’ Wolf, la già citata Sugar mama, le dodici battute classiche della serrata Birthday Blues con tutti i musicisti molto motivati e in grande evidenza sono un buon viatico per l’album. Poi la lunga e sofferta She’s Worryin’ Me ci riporta ai ritmi lenti e cadenzati di Waters e Wolf con una grande prestazione vocale di Tail Dragger. Notevole anche Cold Outdoors con il piano di Gray e l’armonica di Corritore sempre in primo piano a sostenere la voce. So Ezee è uno di quei brani che si è soliti definire “driving blues”, nel senso che viaggiano per conto loro sulle ali della buona musica, uno dei migliori del CD.

Through With You è il classico slow blues che non può mancare in un disco del genere che si rispetti, con delle chitarre taglienti che cercano di ritagliarsi i loro spazi di fianco agli altri solisti, mentre il vocione è sempre in primo piano in alternanza all’armonica. Done Got Old è una ulteriore variazione sul tema mentre Boogie Woogie Ball tiene fede al suo nome, con le mani di Henry Gray che volano sulla tastiera. Please Mr. Jailer è un altro di quegli slow dove il cantante implora il soggetto della canzone, in questo caso il secondino della prigione, di avere pietà per lui e la sua ragazza, un argomento senza tempo per il Blues più sofferto e ben interpretato da Tail Dragger che si conferma vocalist di tutto rispetto in questo brano e in tutto il disco nel suo insieme. Per amanti dei “classici”. Lunga vita!

– Bruno Conti


Blog Critics (April 18, 2012)

Mud Morganfield, like his younger brother “Big Bill” Morganfield, has a huge musical legacy to live up to. His father was McKinley Morganfield, better known to the world as Muddy Waters.

And Mud Morganfield does live up to his father’s legacy on Son of the Seventh Son. He sounds a lot like Waters as he sings classic Chicago blues. He acknowledges his lineage proudly in the title song, “Son of the Seventh Son,” which has references to his father’s songs, including “Mannish Boy,” and his own composition, “Blues in My Shoes.” He also covers his father’s famous number, “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had.”

The other songs on the CD are all examples of traditional Chicago-style blues. The subjects are traditional, too, for the most part: sexy women in “Short Dress Woman” and “Love to Flirt,” sexual prowess in “Midnight Lover” and the sly, suggestive “Catfishin’.” The song “Health” adds a more contemporary spin, with its message that nothing else matters if you don’t take care of your health.

Morganfield himself wrote a number of these songs, including “Blues in My Shoes,” “Love to Flirt,” “Health,” “Midnight Lover” and “Leave Me Alone.” All of them are strong blues offerings. “Health” also features some excellent harp work by producer Bob Corritore. Harmonica Hinds on harp and Barrelhouse Chuck on piano particularly shine on “Catfishin'” as well.

Indeed, the band here is as fine as any band I’ve heard on a modern blues recording: Billy Flynn, Rick Kreher, Barrelhouse Chuck, E. G. McDaniel, Kenny Smith, and Corritore keep things cooking throughout the entire CD. And it is a pleasure to note that the drummer, affectionately known as Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, is the son of Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Mud’s father’s longtime drummer, so even more family tradition is being carried on here.

Add that to the 57-year-old Morganfield’s mature and richly evocative vocals and you have some of the best Chicago blues I’ve heard in years. I highly recommend Son of a Seventh Son to any lover of the blues. Muddy would not be disappointed in how his legacy is being carried on.

– Rhetta Akamatsu


H33T.com (April 17, 2012)

Larry “Mud” Morganfield is the oldest son of Muddy Waters and bears a striking resemblance to his father both vocally and physically. He grew up in Chicago, raised primarily by his mother — his dad was always on the road to support the family. Mud started playing drums as a boy, then switched to bass guitar, although he doesn’t play on-stage. He was always interested in music, but didn’t think about turning pro until his dad died in 1983 and didn’t start performing professionally until he was in his early fifties. On this, only his second album, he sounds like a seasoned pro and delivers a blistering set that honors his dad’s legacy while carving out a comfortable niche of his own. “Short Dress Woman” opens the album with tune that uses the changes of “Got my Mojo Workin’.” Mud’s vocal is sharp and energetic as he sings the praises of a big-legged woman. He delivers Muddy’s “You Can’t Never Lose What You Never Had” with a performance that’s an eerie echo of his dad’s while the band channels the vibe of a 1950s Chess Records session, with excellent work from pianist Barrelhouse Chuck and soulful slide guitar fills by Billy Flynn. The title track, written by John Grimaldi, is a celebration of sexual prowess that integrates images from Muddy’s repertoire into the lyric. Mud sings it with an understated menace that accentuates its slow, dark sexual vibe. Mud’s original songs here stack up favorably to his dad’s. “Love to Flirt” rides an easy-rolling rhythm to tell the story of a woman who makes eyes at every guy she sees. Mud sings it with a combination of irritation and weary resignation. “Leave Me Alone” sounds like a classic, a weary lament full of ironic humor with a bouncy tempo, Bob Corritore’s solid harmonica fills, and Mud’s growing vocal. The funky “Catfishing” is obviously not about fishing, as Mud’s sly vocal implies; Barrelhouse Chuck supplies playful, bubbling organ fills. The band includes some of Chicago’s best players, with standout work throughout by the rhythm section of E.G. McDaniel on bass and drummer “Beedy Eyes” Smith, pianist Barrelhouse Chuck, and harmonica player and producer Corritore.


The Bluegrass Special (April 2012)

Born in Chicago on September 27, 1954, Larry Williams, aka Mud Morganfield, is the eldest son of McKinley Morganfield, aka Muddy Waters, and he’s doing a good job of making up for lost time on this, the followup to his 2008 studio debut, Fall Waters Fall. Up until about 2005, Mud wasn’t much known outside his own household, but when he finally took the plunge into live performance he caused a stir. Rightly so: Mud sings with the hefty voice and swaggering attitude of his beloved father (they sound uncannily alike), he writes solid blues tunes and he’s surrounded himself with a strictly top drawer cast of musicians, starting with harmonica master Bob Corritore, who splits harp chores with the formidable Harmonica Hinds (who also appeared on Fall Waters Fall) but goes the extra mile by producing the whole affair with a bright, sparkling sound that has the freewheeling ambiance of a live set but the depth a studio provides. On guitar Mud (strictly a vocalist and songwriter) features two Chicago stalwarts in Rick Kreher (another Fall Waters Fall alum) and Billy Flynn (whose song “Money Can’t Buy Everything” is one of the album’s philosophical and musical highlights, blessed as it is by Barrelhouse Chuck’s rich sumptuous organ work and Mud’s no-nonsense delivery of Flynn’s message), with E.G. McDaniel on bass and—this is beautiful—Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith on drums, he being the son of Muddy’s great drummer, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. Mud Morganfield, accompanied by Big Joe Louis & His Blues Kings on his sell-out debut English tour, 2007, performs ‘Walking Through the Park’ Much like his father, Mud has his songs about woman trouble, but he also works in some pragmatic philosophy, words to live by, you might say. For instance:

“I’ve got money in the bank/but it don’t mean a thing without good health” (“Health”)

“I learned a long time ago/money can’t buy you everything” (“Money [Can’t Buy Everything]”)

“You know you made some bad decisions/Go ahead on and put the blame on me (“Go Ahead and Blame Me”)

“You can’t lose what you ain’t never had.” (“You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had”)

Yes, that last lyric comes from a Muddy song, to which Mud gives a lowdown treatment, with profound assists from a moaning electric slide guitar and Barrelhouse Chuck’s moody piano ruminations. What that song says about counting your blessings is kind of the subtext of Son of the Seventh Son, i.e., taking responsibility, defining a good life on something other than monetary terms, keeping one’s spiritual and physical self together as a means of making good things happen. This all sounds rather heavy but it goes down easy.

In Sao Paulo, Brazil, April 2011, Mud Morganfield and the Igor Prado Blues Project record Mud’s ‘Loco Motion.’ Backed by a band of Chicago blues all-stars and produced by Bob Corritore, Mud had already recorded the song for his Son of the Seventh Son album.

Mud and company kick things off with a frisky ode to a “Short Dress Woman,” and you can tell, as the band cooks behind him, how much Mud enjoys singing about the gal’s “big fine legs.” A couple of tunes later, Barrelhouse emphasizes his nickname on Mud’s “Love to Flirt,” a cool, stomping blues about a lady who loves to entice the lads—even her pastor! Harmonica Hinds has some fine moments moaning on the upbeat “Loco Motor,” this being a rocking account of Mud’s journey to the Crescent City in search of a good woman, with some more rollicking piano work courtesy Mr. Barrelhouse. On another Mud original, “Midnight Lover,” guitar, piano and Corritore’s lush harp work establish a somber ambiance as Mud croons deliberately of an adulterous affair worthy of a Clarence Carter scenario (the woman’s husband works at night and our man is eager to make his move), his cautious vocal betraying his guilt as much as it does his lust. It’s the kind of sultry performance that would give MSNBC’s Chris Matthews a tingle up his leg.

Which is not to suggest the abovementioned “message” songs are dour by any means. The easygoing swing of Flynn’s “Money (Can’t Buy Everything),” with Corritore’s lively harp and Barrelhouse complementing his bandmate with some spunky flights on the organ, perfectly captures the feel of a man who has learned the wisdom of the song title (although at the end, when he starts musing about playing the lottery, you sense he’s backsliding on us); and though “Health,” which is purely and simply about the virtues of staying fit as a fiddle as the key to happiness, is a slow, grinding blues, it has a lightness to it—maybe thanks to Barrelhouse’s right-hand flights to the outer reaches of the organ’s range—as Mud lays down his cautionary advisory in matter of fact style. Well, here’s hoping the son of the seventh son is taking his own advice to heart, so to speak, because we need him to hang around for awhile and grace us with a few more life lessons. Since Fall Waters Fall he’s advanced considerably as a writer, no longer so reliant on dad’s melodies and lyrics aas he was on his debut, and in focusing on the fundamentals of the human condition may well have found his own voice—yet another reason for another chapter, but soon.


Blues In Britain (April 2012)

They say “like father like son” and in the case of Mud Morganfield the veracity of that phrase is unquestionable. Morganfield has his father’s looks, his voice and his intensity – and his backing band on this set, Rick Kreher and Billy Flynn (guitars), Barrelhouse Chuck (piano/organ), Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith (drums), and Harmonica Hinds and Bob Corritore (harmonica) have the authenticity and talent to recreate the classic Chi-Town sounds of the 50s and early 60s at their very best. In fact songs like “Short Dress Woman”, “Midnight Lover” and “Leave Me Alone” could almost be unreleased treasures from Muddy’s Chess catalogue – they are that good.

As a songwriter, Morganfield also demonstrates the influence of his father – the brash sexual machismo and posturing of “Love to Flirt”, a brooding shuffle with harp and piano crawling all over the mix; whilst Bob Corritore’s “Go Ahead And Blame Me” also falls into that category with it’s rolling Spann-esque piano, Cotton influenced harp and biting Hare inflected guitar.

Despite highlighting the influences Muddy had on his son, it has to be said that Morganfield is his own man, and only uses his father’s work as a springboard for his own talent. Just listen to the brooding title track with its Little Walter styled harp and cascading piano, and the moody “Health”, where Morganfield’s voice has a more plaintive feel to see exactly what I mean.

Inevitably there has to be one of the great man’s songs on this set, and in this case it’s “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had” which is a fitting tribute to one of the genre’s all-time greats.

If – like me – you are a lover of classic Chicago blues, then this set is for you.

– Mick Rainsford


Blues Bytes (March / April 2012)

The first thing you’ll notice on the cover of Mud Morganfield’s new release for Severn Records, Son of the Seventh Son, is how much he looks like his father, Muddy Waters. However, the next thing you’ll notice is how much he sounds like his father. Morganfield was a late comer to the blues scene, at least publicly. Waters bought him his first set of drums when he was seven, and he’s been singing since the ’80s, but not publicly until 2005, when called onstage by singer Mary Lane. After that experience, he decided to pursue music as a profession, making a memorable appearance at the 2007 Chicago Blues Festival.

On his latest release, Morganfield finds himself in the capable hands of producer Bob Corritore, who knows a thing or two about vintage Chicago Blues. Also participating is an impressive all-star quality list of Chicago players, including Rick Kreher and Billy Flynn on guitar, Barrelhouse Chuck on keyboards, E. G. McDaniel on bass, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith on drums, and Corritore and Harmonica Hinds alternating on harp.

Morganfield also wrote seven of the 12 tracks on the disc, highlighted by such strong selections as “Love To Flirt,” “Catfishing,” “Loco Motor,” “Midnight Lover,” and “Blues In My Shoes.” The other contributions come from J.T. Brown (the rousing opener, “Short Dress Woman,” a Waters favorite), Studebaker John’s moody title track, Flynn’s shuffle, “Money (Can’t Buy Everything),” Corritore’s “Go Ahead and Blame Me,” and one from the old man himself, “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had.”

Morganfield sounds great on these tracks…..some of his vocal inflections are amazingly identical to his father’s and will bring a knowing nod and a smile to blues fans’ faces when they hear them. The band is nothing short of fantastic, and Corritore manages to make the traditional sound brand new with his production. As Bill Mitchell pointed out here last month, you will find Son of the Seventh Son on plenty of Top Ten lists at the end of the year.

– Graham Clarke


Guitar Instructor (March 28, 2012)

Eldest son of the legendary Muddy Waters, Larry “Mud” Morganfield sounds just like ol’ Pops on this 12-track collection of Chicago blues, but he does so without consciously trying—it’s simply in the genes. Highlights include “Leave Me Alone,” “Go Ahead and Blame Me,” and “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had.” Visit MudMorganfield.com.

– Michael Mueller


In A Blue Mood (March 25, 2012)

The eldest son of the legendary Muddy Waters, Mud Morganfield was originally given a drum set by his father when he was 7, and began singing in the early 1980s, but it was not until 2005 when Mary lane coaxed him on stage that he started treated music as his profession in a serious fashion. Appearing at the 2007 Chicago Blues Festival led to interest in him similar top that of his younger brother Big Bill Morganfield. He has had some earlier recordings, but now he has a new recording, Son of the Seventh Son, produced by Bob Corritore on Severn Records that should help take his recognition and career to the next level.

Backing Morganfield’s vocals are guitarists Rick Kreher and Billy Flynn, pianist Barrelhouse Chuck (Goering); bassist E.G. McDaniel with Kenny ‘Beedy Eyes’ Smith on drums. Producer Corritore and Harmonica Hinds share the harmonica duties for these February 2011 recordings. With the exception of a couple covers of Muddy Waters recordings and originals by Studebaker John Grimaldi and Billy Flynn, Mud Morganfield contributed originals and the performances are pretty much in his father’s style.

From the opening notes of the reworking of J.T. Brown’s Short Dress Woman, to his own Blues In My Shoes, celebrating his father’s legacy, Mud Morganfield evokes his legendary father. The performances are solid blues in the style of his father and the backing band does a solid job or evoking the Muddy Waters Band sound of the mid-sixties through the end of Waters’ celebrated career. This is a solid band that sounds so at home playing in the style of Waters.

Mud may not quite match his father’s style, but he comes close. The level of the performances are solid throughout although several stand out including the opening reworking of his father’s recording of Short Dress Woman, Studebaker John’s Son of the Seventh Son, the amusing Catfishing, (where he goes all the way to the bottom because that’s where all the fat cats go) on which Barrelhouse Chuck is on organ and Harmonica Hinds is on harp, and Health on which Corritore shines in his harp accompaniment as Mud strongly sings about having money and fame don’t mean anything if one does not have good health. The playing is strong throughout and certainly captures the flavor of Muddy Waters recordings from the seventies. I am not sure who takes the guitar solo on Loco Motor, but the guitarist does a good job of evoking Jimmy ‘Fast Finger’ Dawkins in his guitar solo.

As suggested, Mud does a strong job of conjuring up his late father’s blues and the backing band certainly contributes to the overall feel of this band. Certainly if there can be “Blues Brothers” tribute bands, the eldest son of one of the greatest blues artists can do his part in keeping his father’s sound alive, especially when he contributes a number of strong originals that he ably performs. While he may not be an original performer, Mud Morganfield certainly is keeping his legendary father’s sound alive, supported by an excellent band. The result is a release sure to interest fans of his father’s classic Chicago blues.

– Ron W


Community Voices of the Pittsburgh Gazzette (March 21, 2012)

It’s almost like listening to the ghost of Muddy Waters.That’s how it feels to spin through the 12 blues-drenched tracks from Larry “Mud” Morganfield, the eldest son of the statesman of Chicago blues, Muddy Waters, on “Son of the Seventh Son.” (Severn Records), released yesterday.

Mud was born in 1954, and is the eldest of three Morganfield sons (the other performer is Big Bill Morganfield), but it was 2005 before he treated music as something of a profession. A 2007 Chicago Blues Festival performance really got him going, and he’s become hot concert item since.

He’s recorded at least a couple of CDs, but this one, his Severn debut, should catch some ears. It’s filled with cracking good Chicago blues, sort of a new millenium version of his famous father (who he calls “Pops”).

Mud looks and sounds a bit like Muddy, but he’s trying to make the music his own while paying the proper resepct to his heritage. And it works. The songs here are mostly originals, written and performed in the best Chicago tradition, with snappy production by harpman Bob Corritore.

It all kicks off with one of those great blues themes — “Short Dress Woman,” a rollicking tribute to knees, I think. The churning title track was written by Studebaker John (see previous post), and sounds like it was ripped right from the South Side with Mud’s name on it: “…I drink TNT, I smoke a little dynamite; trouble get to running where I come into sight… ”

Mud has also created a set of his own songs here, all nicely crafted little blues gems: “Blues in My Shoes,” “Love to Flirt,” “Health,” “Midnight Lover” and “Leave Me Alone” are among the best.

There’s one track very much associated with Pops, and Mud does extreme justice to Waters’ “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had.”

If you enjoy the sound of classic Chicago blues, this CD should ease your troubled mind. Mud Morganfield does a great job of carrying on a music that he’s inherited and trying to make his own without being just a shadow of his father.

The band here is worth mentioning, it’s first-rate: Rick Kreher (a one-time Waters sideman) and Billy Flynn on guitar, Barrelhouse Chuck on keys, E.G.McDaniel on bass, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith (son of Waters drummer Willie “Big Eyes” Smith) on drums, Harmonica Hinds and Bob Corritore on harp.

– Jim White


American Blues News (March 19, 2012)

Larry Williams, otherwise known as Mud Morganfield, makes his national label debut with Son Of The Seventh Son on Severn Records. Mud was given his first drum set at the age of seven by his legendary father McKinley Morganfield, a.k.a. Muddy Waters. Mud later took to playing bass and today uses the instrument for songwriting. Mud Morganfield was an amateur musician for most of his life but in 2005 he was persuaded to get on stage by singer Mary Lane. After a warm reception, Morganfield decided to take a closer look at a career in music. He launched his new career at the 2007 Chicago Blues Festival and garnered rave reviews. Since then he has toured internationally and released a pair of independent CDs. His new disc, Son Of A Seventh Son, will have widespread distribution and introduce many to his powerful brand of Chicago Blues.

Any child that takes up the profession of the parents will be subjected to comparisons, warranted or otherwise. Mud Morganfield embraces the comparisons and is proud to carry on his father’s legacy and bring the music to the people in a traditional way. It helps that the man has talent, and an incredible voice that will make you think twice about who’s singing – Muddy or Mud? Mud Morganfield has Muddy Waters’ phrasing and intonation down to a tee. It’s so good you know it’s in the genes. No copycat could pull this off without seeming like a caricature. The top-notch backing band brings it all together for a rollicking Chicago Blues Revue that will have you daydreaming about the South Side juke joints on a Saturday night in 1955.

The son of the seventh son kicks off his national debut with “Short Dress Woman” from the Muddy Waters catalog. This rollicking good time is powered by Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith on drums and producer and Muddy Waters disciple Bob Corritore on harmonica. This performance is Chess Chicago Blues reborn and is a joy to hear as an opening track. It’s a mission statement in three and a half minutes of exquisite construction. “Son Of The Seventh Son” is a Studebaker John composition with more Muddy Waters references than the Chess Box liner notes. Barrelhouse Chuck tickles the ivories and Bob Corritore blows some mean harp giving this song, which borders on shtick, an authenticity that a lesser band would lack.

By the third track we get a taste of Mud Morganfield’s songwriting and to his credit, you would never guess his songs aren’t unearthed gems from the Blues mines of Chicago. “Love To Flirt” brings an updated sound to a classic style of blues, as does his tune “Catfishing.” Guitarists Billy Flynn and Rick Kreher get some room to shine on “Catfishing” and they keep to tradition, not overdriving the amps or playing too fast or flashy. They display a sense of taste and restraint, playing for the song instead of the guitar junkies. Harmonica Hinds plays on both tracks and his harp flourishes along with the keyboard stylings of Barrelhouse Chuck prove this is an unstoppable ensemble, encapsulating 65 years of Chicago Blues into succinct musical statements.

Mud Morganfield’s innate similarities to “Pops,” as he calls Muddy, abound on the slow burning “Health.” Mud Morganfield sings “You really don’t have nothing, if you don’t have your health” lamenting how fragile life is and that all the money in the world won’t make you happy if you’re ill. His vocal delivery is smooth and his phrasing is eerily familiar. Barrelhouse Chuck checks in with a swirling organ solo blowing through like a storm of trouble bearing down on a sick man nearing death and Bob Corritore’s harp blows gusts of insult upon the injury of downtrodden inhabitants of the song.

“Loco Motor” picks up the mood and steamrolls on to New Orleans; “Go Ahead And Blame Me” is a mid tempo blues reminiscent of “Don’t Go No Further,” “Leave Me Alone” is a bouncy rocker with solid guitar work and more Corritore harmonica blasts for your listening pleasure. Mud covers Muddy again on “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had.” Remarkably close to the original, it makes you wonder why they bothered covering it, but it serves as a primer for the live sets. If you see Mud Morganfield live and want to hear him do his father’s songs you won’t be disappointed by the sound or delivery. Mud Morganfield assembled a formidable band that understands the legacy, the importance, and the groove of Chicago Blues. Mud and his band keep the spirit alive, carrying the blues of the past into the future.

Mud’s final song on the album says he has “Blues In My Shoes” but it’s also in his DNA. He’s not shy about it but it’s clear he respects it and wants to share his fortunate lineage with others. I’m a cynical guy and I didn’t expect much from this album before I heard it. When the children of legendary musicians become musicians too, and especially in the same genre, it makes you wonder if they’re in it for dubious reasons. Ultimately it’s a brave choice, bringing upon yourself unnecessary comparisons, impossibly high expectations and an almost certain failure meet them. Mud Morganfield will never be Muddy Waters but he doesn’t have to be. There already was one. He just has to be Mud Morganfield and be comfortable in his musical skin. I believe he is and we are the better for it as fans. The Son Of The Seventh Son is going to a bad one.


Word Press (March 14, 2012)

Larry “Mud” Morganfield is the eldest son of blues icon McKinley Morganfield, who was forever known to blues fans as Muddy Waters. Muddy popularized the classic “Chicago sound,” and his son proudly carries the torch he’s been passed with the release of his latest CD for Severn Records, Son Of The Seventh Son.” Produced by Bob Corritore, Mud cuts loose on seven originals, as well as a couple of tunes made famous by his father.

The backing band is a virtual “who’s who” of contemporary players with experience in that classic combo sound. Rick Kreher and Billy Flynn are on guitar, E. G. McDaniel is on bass, Harmonica Hinds and Bob Corritore share harp duties, Barrelhouse Chuck is on keys, and the son of another legend, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, is on drums. They mesh together seamlessly to give authenticity to the whole project, and bring out the absolute best in Mud’s vocals.

The set kicks off with the shuffling good-times of “Short Dress Woman,” setting the tone for the rest of the album. Check out the slow burn of “Health,” with some fine organ from Barrelhouse Chuck, and the poignant lyrics, “what good is being rich without good health.” Chuck’s organ is again prominent in “Money (Can’t Buy Everything), and the minor-key “Midnight Lover” who is caught up in the web of tryin’ to love two.

We had two favorites, too. Mud uses the titles and characters from many of “Pop’s” songs to create the ultra-cool title cut. And, Mud has an uncanny vocal resemblance to his father, and nowhere is that likeness more evident than in his version of the classic tune that was used as the recurring theme of Martin Scorsese’s PBS documentary, “Presents The Blues,” from 2002. It’s “Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had,” and Mud’s rich baritone and the wailing slide guitar accompaniment makes this one a real treat.

Somewhere up in blues heaven, Muddy is smiling down upon his son. Mud has successfully continued his family tradition, and “Son Of The Seventh Son” is a sure-fire hit!!

Until next time…

Sheryl and Don Crow


Voice of America (March 12, 2012)

Muddy Waters or Mud Morganfield? It’s almost impossible to tell. Of course, nothing would please Mud more than hearing people say he sounds just like his late father “Muddy Waters” on the track “Loco Motor” from his new album Son Of The Seventh Son.

Naturally, Mud, the eldest son of legendary bluesman “Muddy Waters”, was drawn to music at an early age. He learned to make the best of his famous father’s hectic touring schedule, seeing Muddy only during brief respites at home in Chicago. Ever the devoted father, Muddy bought his son a drum set every Christmas, which Mud learned to play at age seven. Later, he switched to bass guitar while delving into songwriting.

Mud and his younger brother, noted blues singer and guitarist “Big” Bill Morganfield, entertained the idea of becoming professional musicians after Muddy’s death in 1983. Blues fans were introduced to Mud at a tribute concert to his father in 2007, but his performance at the Chicago Blues Festival that same year brought him instant recognition.

Mud, now 57, composed most of the songs on his new album Son Of The Seventh Son, including “Blues In My Shoes.” He also performs the Muddy Waters tune, “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had.” According to producer and harmonica player Bob Corritore, the CD “brings you the great Mud Morganfield in all his glory.” It was recorded in Chicago and features some of the city’s top blues musicians.

Mud is taking his recent surge in popularity in stride. “When I’m up on stage I always feel pops is there with me, and it means so much that I can get on stage and keep his music alive around the world,” he says.

– Doug Levine


Sunday Night Blues Project (March 5, 2012)

Larry ‘Mud’ Morganfield is the eldest son of Muddy Waters. “Son Of The Seventh Son” is his national debut. Mud came to singing the blues professionally rather late–he made his debut at the 2007 Chicago Blues Festival. Since then he has been getting ready for this cd. He proves to be a chip off the old block with a set of songs in the classic Chicago blues style. Morganfield wrote seven of the songs; he also covers his father’s “You Can’t Lose What You Never Had.” There is an original song by Billy Flynn “Money (Can’t Buy You Everything)” and one song by Bob Corritore, “Go Ahead And Blame Me,” and the title track is written by John Grimaldi, who you may also know as Studebaker John. The cd was recorded in Chicago and produced by Bob Corritore. The band is made up of blues all-stars, including Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith on drums (son of long-time Muddy Waters’ drummer Willie “Big Eyes” Smith), Rick Kreher and Billy Flynn on guitar, Barrelhouse Chuck on keyboards, E.G. McDaniel on bass, and Harmonica Hines and Bob Corritore on harp. With Mud’s earthy, soulful vocals, he really does sound like his father when he sings, and the songs sound like an updated Muddy Water set–Corritore calls Mud’s sound “a contemporary version of traditional Chicago blues.”

This is a good fun cd–the singing and playing are fantastic. Special notice to Bob Corritore’s harp work throughout–he is playing music he has played for nearly 40 years, but every note here sounds fresh and new. And wow, Barrelhouse Chuck–his work here really hits the mark, especially when he plays piano. Check him out on “Go Ahead and Blame Me.” It cooks!

Mud’s entry into “the family business” means now there are two of Muddy’s sons out singing blues on the road–Mud and Big Bill Morganfield. They are both very good at what they do–if they weren’t they could never have stood the comparisons to their father. Consider this cd a primer on how to make the real deal Chicago blues.

– Decatur Bruce


No Depression (March 5, 2012)

He’s the artist formerly known as Muddy Waters Jr. Now calling himself Mud Morganfield, he claims to be Muddy’s eldest son. But whatever he calls himself, Mud sounds just like his daddy, unlike the other Muddy torchbearer, Big Bill Morganfield, who also lays claim to a Muddy parentage, but leans more towards a Buddy Guy sound.

Mud has daddy down pat. Play his cover of “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had” alongside Muddy’s original, and they match up perfectly. But he has enough sense to realize that while he could make a pretty good living covering daddy, it don’t hurt to do your own stuff and still sound like one of the greatest bluesmen to ever pull his feet out of the Mississippi mud and bring his message worldwide.

“Go Ahead and Blame Me” has the Muddy strut and bluster going full tilt: “I tried so hard to help you,” he tells his soon to be ex-girlfriend, “but you fought me all the way/because of all your bad choices/you where you are today.”

The band sounds like vintage Muddy due to the presence of Willie Beedy Eyes Smith, son of Muddy’s drummer Willie Big Eyes Smith, who played with Muddy for 30 years, and guitarist Billy Flynn, who was a member of the Legendary Blues Band with ex- Muddy players Pinetop Perkins, Calvin Jones and Willie Big Eyes. Harpist/producer Bob Corritone also adds authenticity, recreating the Muddy years with Little Walter.

“Leave Me Alone” is more of the Muddy strut, with Flynn clanging away like a dinner bell on guitar and Barrelhouse Chuck pounding the keys like Pinetop.

This release works both for fans of vintage Muddy and those curious to see what has trickled down to his offspring. Even though he’s only got the one cover, Mud’s originals still represent the Muddy sound, proudly upholding his daddy’s legacy without stepping on his big muddy toes.

– Grant Britt


Musician’s Friend – Friday Blues Fix (March 2, 2012)

First up is the oldest son of a blues legend…..Mud Morganfield. You know his dad as Muddy Waters, who dabbled in the blues for a few years. The younger Morganfield has been playing music for a long time, having taken up the drums as a kid. He even took up singing in the early 80’s, but only stepped behind a mic after coaxing from singer Mary Lane in 2005. He later appeared at the Chicago Blues Festival in 2007 to a rousing reception and the rest, as they say, is history. He’s built quite a following over the past few years, appearing at various festivals across the world, and he just released his newest recording on Severn Records, Son of the Seventh Son. With powerhouse backing from harmonica player/producer Bob Corritore, keyboard wizard Barrelhouse Chuck, drummer Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, and Harmonica Hinds, Morganfield has released a superb disc that captures and updates the best of the traditional Chicago sound. Morganfield wrote most of the songs, and they are a strong set, but he does take time to cover one of Dad’s favorites, “Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had.” Not only does he look like his Dad…..he sounds a lot like him, too, which can never be a bad thing. In this case, it certainly isn’t. This is a disc well worth having if you’re a fan of the traditional sounds of the blues. It’s nice to know that Muddy Waters’ kids (Mud and Big Bill Morganfield) are working hard to keep the blues alive.

– Graham Clarke


The Blues Festival Guide (March 2012)

Severn Records has just released Son of the Seventh Son, the label debut from Larry “Mud”Morganfield, son of the legendary Muddy Waters. Severn Records is distributed nationally by City Hall Records.Recorded in Chicago and produced by Bob Corritore, Son of the Seventh Son features Mud Morganfield’s earthy, soulful vocals backed by a cadre of blues all-stars, including Kenny Smith on drums, Rick Kreher and Billy Flynn on guitar, Barrelhouse Chuck on keyboards, E.G. McDaniel on bass, and Harmonica Hines and Bob Corritore on harp. “I just couldn’t have done this without those cats, man”, Morganfield told writer Terry Mullins in an interview published in Blues Blast Magazine. They brought something to the studio that will forever live in my heart. It brought out the best in me. It’s a great CD, some of the best work I’ve done so far. It’s got one great song after another on it. Son of the Seventh Son includes seven Mud Morganfield originals, as well several other new tunes and a couple songs associated with his famous dad, such as “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had.”


Soul Bag Magazine (France) (March 2012)

Mud Morganfield (né en 1954, de son vrai nom Larry Williams) serait l’aîné Des (nombreux) fils illégitimes (as mère EST Mildred McGhee, une pin-up de cette époque) que Muddy Waters aura eu avec ses maîtresses plus ou moins réguillères. Nous avons eu l’occasion de vanter Le très bon “Fall Waters Fall“ (cf. SB 198), son premier album, autoproduit, ainsi que son extradordinaire ressemblance physique et vocale avec son père. Ce nouvel album EST encore supérieur. Bien produit par Bob Corritore, entouré de musicians de premier plan qui savent ce que Chicago Blues veut dire (Billy Flynn, Rick Kreher aux guitares; Barrelhouse Chuck aux claviers, E.G. McDaniel – Le fils de Floyd – à la basse et Kenny Smith – Le fils de WIllie – à la batterie: Harmonica Hinds et Bob Corritore alternant les parties d’harmonica), Mud a encore gagné en profundeur et IL maîtrise son disque avec l’assurance Des âmes bien nées. À l’exception de You Can’t Lose et de Short Dress Woman (excellentes versions d’ailleurs), tout Le reste EST composé de titres originaux bien dans la lignée de ceux de son illustre papa et qui quasiment tous sont mémorables. Son of the Seventh Son EST peut-être un clin d’oeil à Iron Maiden mais c’est avant tout un blues à la Willie Dixon avec un formidable solo de HInds, qu’aurait très bien up interpréter papa Muddy. Catfish Fishing et Midnight Lover sont en mineur avec une belle partie de claviers (orgue et piano) de Barrelhouse Chuck et semblent aussi tout droit sortis d’une séance Chess Des 1960’s. Locomotive, par contre, EST dans Le style californien et EST parsemé de beaux solos de chacun Des musiciens, don’t encore une fois un solo mémorable de Harmonica Hinds. Le disque se conclut par Blues In My Shoes qui évoque irrésistiblement Le West Side Sound. Un disque de premier plan, supérieur à la production standard actuelle. Nul doute que là où IL EST, Muddy doit être fier que son fils reprene is bien Le flambeau.

(Five stars!)

– Gérhard Herzhaft


All Music Guide (March 2012)

Larry “Mud” Morganfield is the oldest son of Muddy Waters and bears a striking resemblance to his father both vocally and physically. He grew up in Chicago, raised primarily by his mother — his dad was always on the road to support the family. Mud started playing drums as a boy, then switched to bass guitar, although he doesn’t play on-stage. He was always interested in music, but didn’t think about turning pro until his dad died in 1983 and didn’t start performing professionally until he was in his early fifties. On this, only his second album, he sounds like a seasoned pro and delivers a blistering set that honors his dad’s legacy while carving out a comfortable niche of his own. “Short Dress Woman” opens the album with tune that uses the changes of “Got my Mojo Workin’.” Mud’s vocal is sharp and energetic as he sings the praises of a big-legged woman. He delivers Muddy’s “You Can’t Never Lose What You Never Had” with a performance that’s an eerie echo of his dad’s while the band channels the vibe of a 1950s Chess Records session, with excellent work from pianist Barrelhouse Chuck and soulful slide guitar fills by Billy Flynn. The title track, written by John Grimaldi, is a celebration of sexual prowess that integrates images from Muddy’s repertoire into the lyric. Mud sings it with an understated menace that accentuates its slow, dark sexual vibe. Mud’s original songs here stack up favorably to his dad’s. “Love to Flirt” rides an easy-rolling rhythm to tell the story of a woman who makes eyes at every guy she sees. Mud sings it with a combination of irritation and weary resignation. “Leave Me Alone” sounds like a classic, a weary lament full of ironic humor with a bouncy tempo, Bob Corritore’s solid harmonica fills, and Mud’s growing vocal. The funky “Catfishing” is obviously not about fishing, as Mud’s sly vocal implies; Barrelhouse Chuck supplies playful, bubbling organ fills. The band includes some of Chicago’s best players, with standout work throughout by the rhythm section of E.G. McDaniel on bass and drummer “Beedy Eyes” Smith, pianist Barrelhouse Chuck, and harmonica player and producer Corritore.

– J. Poet


Blues Underground Network (March 2012)

Mud Morganfield is a lot like his father, not only spreading the Blues with touring all over the world, like Muddy did, but also Vocally, with his singing, and Physically, with his resemblance.

Mud Morganfield was a bit of a late comer to his Professional career, as he did not make his first official career launch until 2007 at that years Chicago Blues Festival, which had garnered him rave reviews. Since then he has toured the world extensively, releasing a couple of albums along the way. “Son Of The Seventh Son” marks his debut release for famed record label, Severn Records and marks his first nationally released album.

Joining Mud Morganfield on “Son Of The Seventh Son” is a virtual Who’s Who of the Blues world and included Rick Kreher (Guitar), Billy Flynn (Guitar), Barrelhouse Chuck (Piano/Organ), E.G. McDaniel (Bass) & Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith (Drums). Also appearing on various Tracks were Bob Corritore (Harmonica) & Harmonica Hinds (Harmonica). With “Son Of The Seventh Son”, this marks the 2nd recording this year I have received which has had Bob Corritore at the helm as both artist and Producer, the other being Tail Dragger & Bob Corritore “Longtime Friends In The Blues”. “Son Of The Seventh Son”, also marks the 2nd recording I have received featuring Kenny
“Beedy Eyes” Smith, the first being the amazing debut release Heritage Blues Orchestra “And Still I Rise”. Concerning Mud Morganfield’s fantastic lineup of artists, he recently said, “I just couldn’t have done this without those cats, man,” Morganfield told writer Terry Mullins in an interview published in Blues Blast Magazine. “They brought something to the studio that will forever live in my heart. It brought out the best in me”.

“Son Of The Seventh Son” consists of 12 Tracks of which 7 are Mud Morganfield originals. The covers included a song each by John T Brown (Short Dress Woman), John Grimaldi aka Studebaker John (Son Of The Seventh Son), Billy Flynn (Money Can’t Buy Everything), Bob Corritore (Go Ahead And Blame Me), and as Mud Morganfield says “anything I do, I’m gonna add pop”, with Muddy Waters “You Can’t Lose What You Never Had”.

Mud Morganfield, whom by the way is a Drummer and Bass player, only does singing on “Son Of The Seventh Son”, and man what an amazing job he does, having one reviewer writing, “Mud has an uncanny vocal resemblance to his father”. Beyond Mud Morganfield’s Vocals and Rock Solid Songwriting and delivery, is the rest of the band which shines throughout “Son Of The Seventh Son”. Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith and Bob Corritore waste no time kicking things into gears with the opener “Short Dress Woman”. A great song with a really good tempo, that is splendidly augmented with the mighty fine Piano work via Barrelhouse Chuck. Barrelhouse Chuck’s shines throughout this album, but perhaps no more brightly then on Track 6 “Loco Motor”, in which he kicks off a nice solo around mid-song.

Harmonica Hinds gets in on the action on 5 of the Tracks, including the final 2. He also kicks it into fine gear on “Loco Motor”, but the Track that I feel featured him the best was Track 4 “Catfishing”, where his Harp gracefully accompanies Mud throughout what was one of my favorites.

For those that like the old Blues Guitar, there is plenty on “Son Of The Seventh Son”, but I found the last 3 Tracks to be the best, especially the closing Track Mud Morganfield original, “Blues In My Shoes”. Rick Kreher & Billy Flynn have done great Guitar work throughout this album, with “Blues In My Shoes”, really being the icing on the cake, Guitar wise.

When referring to the sound of Mud Morganfield, Bob Corritore calls Mud’s “a contemporary version of traditional Chicago blues”, and that, my friends is what you get on “Son Of The Seventh Son”, Chicago Blues in it’s finest style.

It is not often that a sibling of a Legendary parent is able to step into their shoes and continue on in the legacy that parent created, at the same time doing that legacy a tremendous justice; Mud Morganfield, I feel, has been able to do just that, in part I believe because of the tremendous amount of maturity he had behind him before stepping into the Professional Spotlight and most assuredly because he had such a great Pop to guide him.

“Son Of The Seventh Son” is an extraordinarily good 2012 Blues release, and one that is sure to catch the attention of many blues fans and the accolades from both critics and Mud Morganfield’s peers.

5***** for this one… One of the Best Blues albums released, so far, for 2012.

– John Vermilyea


About Blues (March 2012)

Recorded in Chicago and produced by noted blues harpist Bob Corritore, Mud Morganfield – the oldest son of Chicago blues legend Muddy Waters – is backed here by a top-notch band on Son of the Seventh Son, including drummer Kenny Smith, keyboardist Barrelhouse Chuck, guitarists Rick Kreher and Billy Flynn, bassist E.G. McDaniel,and harp players Harmonica Hines and Corritore himself. The album features seven original Morganfield songs amidst other new material, as well as a couple of Muddy Waters tunes, including “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had.”

– Reverend Keith A. Gordon


Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange (March 2012)

It’s said the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree nor does the mud stray far from the river, and that’s certainly the case with Muddy Waters’ son, Larry “Mud” Morganfield. Like his dad, the guy practices a form of Chicago blues that’s rich and jumpin’ but also dark as delta loam in cuts like the famous title track. Listening to it, though, one detects more than a little John Lee Hooker in Mud—as this gent’s also a bit of story-teller—as well as some Bo. In Son of the Seventh Son, when the singer lays down his lines, everyone picks ’em up.

With a five to six man band behind him, the ambiance of the CD is full and weighty while lakeside breezy, a door opened from a juke joint onto the nighttime skies of Erie and Huron, but the cats who really thicken everything up are the harp players Harmonica Hinds and Bob Corritore (the latter also producing the entire affair). Not long ago, I essayed my box set of Hooker’s Vee Jay years (1955—1964), six CDs, 70 minutes each of pure blues bliss, and Morganfield’s latest flanks it beautifully, spare enough not to crowd you out of the room, full enough to lack for nothing, and sufficiently intimate to pull ya forward in your chair, laying aside the fifth of Johnny or Jack to dig the yarns and grooves.

More than half the disc was written by Morganfield and stands up very well to the standards as well as to the contributions by Corritore and guitarist Billy Flynn. Healthspeaks to the necessity of keeping your ass in good order, a quite contemporary sentiment, but the swingin’ bouncy Loco Motor sprints right back to the wellsprings, concerned about tripping down to New Orleans so the singer can find him “a queen with long black hair and no underwear”. Midnight Lover is atmospheric and lonely, ringing with stars and deep yearning, the sort of thing Fleetwood Mac could lay back into during its glory days (the first 4 LPs), a slow lazy dream trip, and thus, whatever you want, it’s pretty much here in this release.

– Mark S. Tucker


Bluebeat Music (March 2012)

An amazing low down traditional Chicago blues release featuring BILLY FLYNN– HARMONICA HINDS– RICK KREHER– BARRELHOUSE CHUCK & producer & harmonica ace BOB CORRITORE……..Morganfield has an impressive vocal delivery & invests the songs with feeling & emotion…..the band rises to the occasion and provides solid support………RECOMMENDED!!!….

– Charlie Lange


Bman’ Blues Report (February 22, 2012)

I just received the debut recording on Severn Records by Larry “Mud” Morganfield, the incredible Muddy Waters’ (McKinley Morganfield) oldest son. This recording, Son Of The Seventh Son, is slated to be released on March 20th. This recording was produced by harp master Bob Corritore, featuring Mud as primary writer and singer backed by Kenny Smith on Drums, Rick Kreher and Billy Flynn on Guitar, Barrelhouse Chuck on Keys, EG McDaniels on Bass and Harmonica Hines and Corritore on Harp. The recording takes you back to smokey Chicago and the beginnings of electric blues. Morganfield’s voice sounds quite a bit like his fathers and his delivery is quite strong. The band is really tight and of course in addition to Morganfields now trademark vocals, Corritore and Hinds bring on strong harp solos. Anyone familiar with Barrelhouse Chuck knows that he delivers the goods on piano. It’s unfair to compare father and son (when your father was not only a living legend but also one of the greatest of all times) but Mud has a lot of the characteristics of his father. It’s hard to pick a favorite track as they are all pretty similarly strong but two tracks (aside from Muddy’s actual song inclusion, You Can’t lose What You Never Had which is preformed masterfully… even capturing some of the Muddy slide guitar tones), the all Chicago Go Ahead And Blame Me, and a shuffle tune, Leave Me Alone were the strongest tracks on the release.

You’re sure to enjoy this blast of Chicago!

– Bman


Midwest Record Chicago (February 21, 2012)

It ain’t easy being Muddy Waters’ eldest kid and wanting to go into the family business but Morganfield succeeds at being his own man and letting his genes show. Capturing the 1954 vibe with his band quite nicely, Morganfield doesn’t wail so much about being a ‘main’, brings a load of originals to the fore and simply has a nice modern take on traditional blues going on. Morganfield is no cover or tribute act, just a fine example of the family name being hard again. Well done

– Chris Spector


BluesMagazine.nl (January 29, 2012)

Severn Records has announced a March 20 release date for Son of the Seventh Son, the label debut from Larry “Mud” Morganfield, son of the legendary Muddy Waters.

Recorded in Chicago and produced by Bob Corritore, Son of the Seventh Son features Mud Morganfield’s earthy, soulful vocals backed by a cadre of blues all-stars, including Kenny Smith on drums, Rick Kreher and Billy Flynn on guitar, Barrelhouse Chuck on keyboards, E.G. McDaniel on bass, and Harmonica Hines and Bob Corritore on harp.

“I just couldn’t have done this without those cats, man,” Morganfield told writer Terry Mullins in an interview published in Blues Blast Magazine. “They brought something to the studio that will forever live in my heart. It brought out the best in me. It’s a great CD, some of the best work I’ve done so far. It’s got one great song after another on it.”

Son of the Seventh Son includes seven Mud Morganfield originals, as well several other new tunes and a couple songs associated with his famous dad, such as “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had.” Producer Bob Corritore calls his sound “a contemporary version of traditional Chicago blues.”

“There’s two songs of pop’s on there and with anything I do, I’m gonna add pop,” Morganfield said in the interview. “But the rest of the disc is made up of several songs that I wrote, along with a song that Bob Corritore wrote and one my good friend Studebaker John wrote. But it’s all got that Muddy style to it, because that’s who I am. Without me even trying, I come off like the son of Muddy Waters and I’m proud that it’s like that.”

Chicago-based Mud Morganfield is the eldest son of the blues icon and bears a striking vocal and physical resemblance to his illustrious father. He has toured all over the world spreading the gospel of blues just like his daddy did and will support the release of Son of the Seventh Son with tour dates both in the U.S. and internationally, as well.


Fame (2012)

It’s said the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree nor does the mud stray far from the river, and that’s certainly the case with Muddy Waters’ son, Larry “Mud” Morganfield. Like his dad, the guy practices a form of Chicago blues that’s rich and jumpin’ but also dark as delta loam in cuts like the famous title track. Listening to it, though, one detects more than a little John Lee Hooker in Mud—as this gent’s also a bit of story-teller—as well as some Bo. In Son of the Seventh Son, when the singer lays down his lines, everyone picks ’em up.

With a five to six man band behind him, the ambiance of the CD is full and weighty while lakeside breezy, a door opened from a juke joint onto the nighttime skies of Erie and Huron, but the cats who really thicken everything up are the harp players Harmonica Hinds and Bob Corritore (the latter also producing the entire affair). Not long ago, I essayed my box set of Hooker’s Vee Jay years (1955—1964), six CDs, 70 minutes each of pure blues bliss, and Morganfield’s latest flanks it beautifully, spare enough not to crowd you out of the room, full enough to lack for nothing, and sufficiently intimate to pull ya forward in your chair, laying aside the fifth of Johnny or Jack to dig the yarns and grooves.

More than half the disc was written by Morganfield and stands up very well to the standards as well as to the contributions by Corritore and guitarist Billy Flynn. Healthspeaks to the necessity of keeping your ass in good order, a quite contemporary sentiment, but the swingin’ bouncy Loco Motor sprints right back to the wellsprings, concerned about tripping down to New Orleans so the singer can find him “a queen with long black hair and no underwear”. Midnight Lover is atmospheric and lonely, ringing with stars and deep yearning, the sort of thing Fleetwood Mac could lay back into during its glory days (the first 4 LPs), a slow lazy dream trip, and thus, whatever you want, it’s pretty much here in this release.

– Mark S. Tucker


Chicago Blues Guide (2012)

Listening to this CD is like taking a trip back in a time machine. You may find yourself transported to a nondescript blues bar from the 1960s, digging to the groove of Larry “Mud” Morganfield and the well- seasoned musicians backing him. You can feel the ambiance, smell the smoke and taste the drink sitting on the bar in front of you. The voice is familiar, from the early days of electric blues, but this is a brand new CD (and they didn’t have those back then). Reality hits and you’re back in 2012 as you realize you’re listening to Mud Morganfield, whose voice and looks are strikingly similar to his late father, the famous Muddy Waters. Mud, who is Water’s eldest son, is proud of the resemblance and humbly accepts it as it is. However, he is making his own mark in the music industry without leaning on his family’s history. Not only is he a distinctive singer, but Mud also contributed seven original songs to this remarkable CD.

Rick Kreher, who is an alumna of Muddy Waters’ band in the early Eighties and plays guitar on the CD, states that Mud has “one foot in both worlds”. Mud has proven that even though the CD is steeped in Chicago style blues, he sings it his way. He also has proven to be a fluent songwriter that writes about timeless topics. His words are not flowery, they are just very real. He writes about keeping your health, finding a mate, having an affair, love lost and just plain old having the blues.

Mud’s voice is powerful and has a clarity that is reminiscent of the days when concert halls didn’t have microphones. In those days you needed a voice that could belt out a tune to cut through the instruments and across the room. Even with today’s electric guitars, Mud’s voice has the gifted power to be heard without a mic. He also has the ability to project different moods. Mud’s voice sounds matter-of-fact, while his words are humorous, in his song “Loco Motor” as he frankly states he’s “Gonna find me a Queen with long black hair and no underwear”. In another original, the moody “Midnight Lover,” you can feel the pain of lust and disdain as he belts out the lyrics, with a little vibrato in his voice, pleading “midnight lover what kind of power do you have over me?” Mud also brought to the table two originals from fellow CD band mates: “Money (Can’t Buy Everything)”, written by guitarist Billy Flynn, as well as one by harp player Bob Corritore, “Go Ahead And Blame Me”. The tite track, “Son of the Seventh Son”, was penned by John Grimaldi, a.k.a. Studebaker John. With one foot in old school, Mud sings his father’s song, “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had”.

Bob Corritore produced the CD, which was recorded in Chicago at Rax Trax Studios. Bob’s artistry created an album that not only spins an ambiance which reflects traditional Chicago blues, but also keeps Mud Morganfield front and center on every song. The sound is mixed with the instruments in a perfect balance. The guitars always have a presence with a rhythmic background, but stand out when they provide a solo. The harps, played by both Harmonica Hinds and Bob Corritore, weave in and around while providing support with their rhythm fills and leads. You can hear the distinct difference between the two harp players, which adds to more layers of ear candy. The bass and drums are solid, yet distinct, such as in the first song “Short Dress Woman”. The piano has a honky tonk sound that plays full chords and fills; yet it remains subtle and provides background. All in all, this is a group of stellar musicians featuring: Kenny “Beady Eyes” Smith on drums (son of Muddy Waters’ drummer, the late Willie “Big Eyes” Smith), Barrelhouse Chuck on piano and organ, E.G. McDaniel on bass, Billy Flynn and Rick Kreher on guitars. All of them perform on this CD as a team to enable Mud Morganfield to shine, which is precisely what Muddy Waters’ storied bandmates did, too.

The subtle artistry in Son of the Seventh Son is a gem to be discovered. As the last song ends, you will be amazed as you realize that you were taken on a trip back to the old days with a spin of today’s blues. Son of the Seventh Son is music history in the making, featuring a voice in the blues that is uniquely Mud Morganfield’s.

– Dawn O’Keefe Williams


The BluesPowR Blog

A while back, we wrote about two immensely talented offspring of the great blues singer and guitarist McKinley Morganfield, a.k.a. Muddy Waters (“Who’s Gonna’ Fill Those Muddy Shoes?”): the internationally known Big Bill Morganfield and, a slightly more recent entrant to the blues scene, Larry “Mud” Morganfield. This week, Mud provides a pretty fine answer to that earlier question in the form of his Severn Records debut, Son of the Seventh Son. (Any who can’t be satisfied with that kind of broader response may of course find a much more definitive retort in the album’s closing track “Blues in My Shoes,” which we’ll get to a bit later in this post.)

Opening on a “Short Dress Woman” that offers a big fine sound to match the “big fine legs” of its lyrics, some may at first wonder if what they’re hearing is actually Muddy’s band reincarnated (or at least nicely remastered), between its Muddy-like vocals and the band’s robust, swinging Chicago sound. But this, my friends, is Mud at his finest, backed by an experienced and talented band of Bob Corritore on harmonica, Barrelhouse Chuck on keys, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith on drums, E.G. McDaniel on bass, and Billy Flynn and Rick Kreher on guitar. “Short Dress Woman” is not the only of his father’s tunes he covers here – also doing a bang-up job on “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had” – and certainly not the only one on which the vocal resemblance to Muddy can be heard. Yet Mud’s abilities extend far beyond his voice: seven of the dozen songs on the album are credited to Mud (along with one each from Corritore, Flynn, and Morganfield’s good friend Studebaker John), with many cuts – including the opener – offering an energy and sound, dare we say, even more vibrant than that of his father’s, thanks to the stellar band Mud’s managed to assemble.

From “Short Dress Woman,” they move to the Studebaker John-penned title track that again nicely spotlights Corritore on harmonica and Barrelhouse Chuck on piano, in addition to lyrics referencing such Waters numbers as “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “Mannish Boy,” “I’m a Natural Born Lover,” and “I’m Ready” as well as other popular blues titles like Willie Dixon’s “Back Door Man” and of course, “The Seventh Son.” Harmonica Hinds steps in for Corritore on harp for the next two songs: the jaunty, very Muddy-esque “Love to Flirt” and a funky “Catfishing” that sounds as if the band is channeling the spirits of not only Mud’s “Pop” but also another great Chicago bluesman named Phil Guy. Hinds returns later on the chugging “Loco Motor” and the at least-partly autobiographical “Blues in My Shoes,” in which Mud recounts growing up on the West Side of Chicago with such lyrics as “It started in September, nineteen hundred and fifty-four/ that’s when the doctors told my mother, you’ve got yourself a hoochie coochie boy” and “If you don’t think I got the blues, I wish you coulda’ walked in my shoes/ I’ve had the blues for so long, I don’t know just what to do.”

“Health” is a slow, simmering Chicago blues number, one of several tracks finding Barrelhouse Chuck on organ, as is also the case on the funky Billy Flynn-penned “Money (Can’t Buy Everything).” The slow, just under eight-minute ballad “Midnight Lover” is the most sensitive of the album’s tracks, also affording many of the musicians the chance at a nice solo. That’s followed by the steady, patient blues of “Go Ahead and Blame Me,” written by Corritore, who also produced the project, and Mud’s superb, swinging “Leave Me Alone,” on which he is again joined by Corritore on harmonica.

Recorded in Chicago, Son of the Seventh Son confirms what those watching Mud in recent years already know: that, like his father, he’s a star, with the musical backing on this project helping him to shine even brighter. In addition to the fine keyboards from Chuck and split harmonica duties from Corritore and Hinds, Smith and McDaniel are consistently solid on drums and bass, respectively, accompanied by some terrific guitar work from Flynn and Kreher, particularly on such songs as “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had,” “Leave Me Alone,” “Love to Flirt,” and “Loco Motor.”

While it’s still pretty early to be making any kind of call on best albums of the year, it’s hard to imagine Son of the Seventh Son not being among them.

– Mike

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