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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