Mud Morganfield and his half-brother “Big Bill” Morganfield play the blues. Sometimes they play together. I have a live recording of the two playing at the Chicago Blues Festival, doing songs such as Mannish Boy, Nineteen Years Old and Forty Days and Forty Nights, all songs that you can instantly recall as being standards sung by blues legend, the late Muddy Waters. No coincidence there because both the Morganfields are his sons. Remember Muddy Waters’ real name was McKinley Morganfield. Muddy died in 1983 but his two sons in their 50s–Mud’s the older one—keep his trademark Chicago blues sound and legacy alive. They play gigs. They cut records and have a considerably big fan following among blues aficionados. Read more
Last week, after a couple of quick listens to Radiohead’s The King of Limbs, I had gushed about that album. Now, after several more unhurried listens, I am happy to report that – despite the negative blah by some critics (no guitar riffs; nothing new; very short…. yada yada…) – it is a fine album that I’m going to keep going back to. In fact, what I did after the second, third and fourth helpings of the 37-minute TKOL was revisit the band’s back catalogue and get lost for a couple of days in all of their albums, particularly Kid A, Amnesiac, Hail to the Thief and In Rainbows, all of which came out in the 2000s, but also the super ones that the band released in the 1990s – Pablo Honey, The Bends and OK Computer. That’s what set me thinking about the Nineties. I know, I know, it’s been a while since that decade passed, but have you stopped to think how much great music was produced in those ten years? Read more
I’m in a once-familiar city that has changed in weird ways. The weather alternates between muggy and hot or wet and rainy. I know few people in town now and everything seems new, strange and even a bit complicated. The fact that I’ve had to make the trip in not very happy circumstances doesn’t make things any better. So, lying down in bed in the dark one night, I reached into the innards of an old iPod for something familiar.
Jazz legend Duke Ellington, who’s credited with many interesting quotes on jazz, blues and music critics is believed to have once said: “There are two kinds of music. Good music and the other kind.” But what’s good and what’s the other kind is entirely a matter of individual taste. Mentioning Ellington’s quote, a recent article in Uncut magazine said perhaps The Beatles are one those rare bands on whom there is a consensus. Everybody thinks The Beatles made great music.