Muddy Waters 100
Billed as “a centennial tribute to Muddy Waters,” the 15-track Muddy Waters 100 features a handful of Waters alumni—and other special guests—performing his songs. Vocalist/guitarist John Primer, who was with Waters (1915-1983) for the last four years of the Mississippi bluesman's life, does the lion's share of singing and playing—and his voice is ideally suited to the material. Most of the songs date from the 1950s and James Cotton revisits two on which he appeared on the originals, one of them being 1959's “I Feel So Good.” Bob Margolin—who spent seven years with Waters—pops up on slide guitar on “I Be's Troubled,” a song that Alan Lomax recorded in 1941 for the Library of Congress on the Stovall plantation. Johnny Winter, who produced Waters' 1978 Grammy-winning LP I'm Ready, lends his slide guitar to this version of the title track. Other guests include slide guitarists Derek Trucks on a great version of “Still a Fool,” and Keb' Mo' on “Last Time I Fool Around With You.” Harmonicist Billy Branch appears on a couple, including a thumping “Trouble No More,” and guitarist Gary Clark Jr. is on a great version of “Forty Days and Forty Nights.” It all comes in a CD-sized 48-page book with an essay and great photos.