Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Muddy Waters & Howlin' Wolf - London Revisited (Chess - CH60026)

I have been listening this record with so much pleasure that I started writing about it in my head the moment I laid my hands on it. This is not only because of the two legends who are performing on the record. Obviously that is also important. On the other hand the cover is another story in and of itself. I'll get into those details soon.

The album covers Muddy Water and Howlin' Wolf's seperate recording sessions in London with booming British Blues artists accompanying them. On Muddy Water's recordings which cover the A side, we listen Rory Gallagher and Sam Lawhorn on guitar, Carey Bell Harrington on harmonica (She's damn good), Georgie Fortune on organ and piano, Rik Gretch on bass guitar and Mitch Mitchell on drums. Steve Winwood also makes a brief appearance on piano for the first track, "Hard Days". For Howlin' Wolf's B side, Hubert Sumlin is at guitar, Jeff Carp is at harmonica, Bill Wyman is as bass guitar and Charlie Watts is at drums.

Muddy Waters splitted his 4 track A side into two sort of ballads and two rather uplifting Blues tracks. Ain't much to say about the performance since Waters always excells in his guitar and vocal style. Moreover, his solos in "Hard Days" and "Lovin' Man" are breathtaking. However, I should also note that the cool going "Highway 41" is also a pleasure to the ears with it's rather naïve sound.

Howlin' Wolf's side starts with a touchy "Goin' Down Slow" where the harmony between guitar and harmonica seems to be very effective. Then comes a favorite track of mine, "The Killing Floor". I've just listened it from Jimi Hendrix, but this is obviously more Bluesy with a touch of Funk in it. Yet, the performance of the guitar is unquestioningly better even though Hendrix played this when he was very young. The last track on this side is "Want To Have A Word With You" and it is fascinating. It is the most true to form of all the Blues tracks on the record even when played with an electric guitar. You can listen this all night with Howlin' Wolf howling in your ears.

There is one also interesting thing about the gatefold cover. When you open it, you face a comic strip which explains the adventure of Waters and Wolf in a humorous and poetic way. Taking a picture wouldn't have helped, therefore it is for you to find out when you buy one.

To buy this record:

@ Discogs
@ Ebay

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