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In 1969 Muddy Waters released an album called Fathers and Sons. The project was the brainchild of harmonica player Paul Butterfield and guitarist Mike Bloomfield, who both played on the album. The duo wanted to work on a project with Waters and came up with Fathers and Sons as a show of respect for him. He had heavily influenced the young blues men. Indeed, Muddy Waters was a pivotal influence on generations of blues players to follow and is still today. He passed away in 1983.

In hindsight, the irony of the name Fathers and Sons is the absence of Big Bill Morganfield, Waters’ own son. To be fair, when the album was recorded in 1969, Bill was only 14 and had yet to seriously pick up a guitar. Waters did not have much of a presence in his son’s life, as Big Bill was raised by his grandmother in Florida. While Waters was off living the life of a musician, the younger Morganfield was earning two university degrees and making a living as a teacher. It wasn’t until after Muddy Waters passed away that Big Bill decided to become a musician. He spent six years learning to play guitar and immersing himself in his father’s legacy.

Those are some pretty big shoes to fill for a young man hoping to earn some respect in his father’s shadow. Aspirations of the progeny are not always successful. But when players like Bob Margolin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and Pinetop Perkins — all past Muddy Water Band members — are willing to come on board you know the son is not just a pale imitation of the father. Big Bill Morganfield is the real deal.

Thanks to an Italian fan for posting this clip of Big Bill in action.

Big Bill has made a solid career for himself as a guitar player. His older brother Larry, who goes by the name Mud Morganfield has picked up the vocal legacy of their famed father.

It s family affair in this video clip. Muddy's boys are joined by the youngest brother, Joe.

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Muddy Waters, Big Bill and Mud Morganfield: Blues in the Family

In 1969 Muddy Waters released an album called Fathers and Sons. The project was the brainchild of har…


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#1 posted by
on Apr 15, 2012

I've enjoyed many hours of listening to Big Bill's CDs.  He is not breaking new ground as his father did, but his music is fine, and his feelings come through.  Muddy Waters was a sound unheard before his day.  Not note perfect blues as from Buddy Guy or Eric Clapton, not universally mysterious and ethereal as from Jimi Hendrix, although Muddy's vocal bass lines can raise the hair on the back of my neck even after years of listening to his recordings.  But many of the British rockers who turned old time blues into a blues-rock bonanza of sight and sound were spring-boarded into their best sounds , in part, by listening to Muddy's recordings.  Van Morrison's career can be divided into pre-Muddy and post-Muddy. Other British blues greats were shown the light by Muddy as well.  Muddy's son, Big Bill, has added greatly to my enjoyment of the blues, and continues to do so, and I'm hoping his best work is yet to come.  He's still young, and so often the work of blues musician's and singers gets much better as they age.  Of course, all of this is the opinion of one person.  Please listen and decide for yourself.  My first Muddy Waters' recording was Folk Singer.  It features his voice and acoustic guitar to great advantage.  Whenever I find new blues music lovers, this is the recording I make a present of to them.  It never fails to impress.

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