Muddy Waters: Live At Newport

Mr Morganfield's set of influential but elusive blues at the 1960 Newport Jazz Festival is here reissued on vinyl with bonus tracks


The 1960 Newport Jazz Festival will always be known as the year of the great riot after an estimated 10,000 youngsters attempted to jump the fences and force entrance into the Saturday evening show. After a night of chaos, the city council decided to cancel the remaining two days of the festival with only the Sunday afternoon programme being allowed to continue.

That Sunday afternoon saw McKinley Morganfield, better known as Muddy Waters, perform and the recording went on to become one of the most celebrated albums of his career, not least for its deceptive sophistication. As the man himself famously said, “My blues looks simple, so easy to do, but it’s not. They say my blues is the hardest blues in the world to play.”

This vinyl reissue from Blues Joint adds to the seminal release three bonus tracks taken from a performance at the Copa Cabana in Chicago backed by Otis Spann on piano, Buddy Guy on guitar, bassist Jack Meyers and Fred Barlow on drums. Although it’s sad not to see the original cover image, Blues Joint have done a tremendous job in compiling collections from some of the most acclaimed musicians in recent history and this one doesn’t disappoint.

We’re treated to the original liner notes from Jack Tracy on the back with additional information on the bonus tracks. The tracks are clean and in surprisingly good quality, altogether making this an attractive issue for old fans and newcomers to the music of Muddy Waters.

(1) I Got My Brand On You; (I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man; Baby, Please Don’t Go; Soon Forgotten; Tiger In Your Tank; I Feel So Good; I Got My Mojo Working (Part 1); I Got My Mojo Working (Part 2); Goodbye Newport Blues; (2) Clouds In My Heart; 19 Years Old; I’ve Got My Mojo Working (45.09)
(1) Muddy Waters (v, g); James Cotton (hca); Pat Hare (g); Andrew Stephenson (b); Otis Spann (p, v); Francis Clay (d); Langston Hughes (announcer).
(2) (bonus tracks) Muddy Waters (v); Jarrett Gibson (ts); Donald Hankins (bs); Otis Spann (p); Buddy Guy (g); Jack Meyers (b); Fred Below (d).
Blues Joint 8001