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Complete Plantation Recordings, The (32Bit) Import

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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The Complete Plantation Recordings
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Audio CD, Import, 22 Oct 1997
£39.50
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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 Oct. 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: VICTOR
  • ASIN: B00005GRPV
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Historically this is of great significance and musically it's pretty good, too. It consists of the acoustic recordings made by Alan Lomax at Stovall, Mississippi in 1941 and 1942. It's not the greatest of Muddy, because that is surely his Chicago recordings of the late forties and his band recordings of the early and mid fifties. Muddy became of vast importance in the Chicago blues for the best part of twenty years, both as a proud vocalist and as leader of the finest band in the style without any doubt. Because of that importance everything he did anywhere in his career matters. And that brings us to this disc.
Here Muddy appears as a singer, accompanied by his own acoustic guitar, sometimes helped by a second guitar, Charles Berry, and sometimes as a member of the Son Simms Four. It is all rural blues, with no trace of what was to happen, and little changed from the rural music recorded ten to fifteen years ago. Muddy plays mainly bottleneck guitar and sings confidently but without the swagger of later years. He admits to being influenced by Son House, and you can hear that, but as a young man with it all still ahead of him, he doesn't have the tortured sound given to House by his experiences. He is very good, but not yet great. There are, on the sides mainly featuring him, good versions of some well known numbers including 'Country Blues', 'I Be's Troubled', and '32-20 Blues'.
The other tracks feature Muddy with the Son Simms Four. Simms had recorded before, with Charlie Patton. Except purely locally he was not a professional musician, although he was an attractive fiddle player. The Four consisted of him on fiddle, two guitars including Muddy, and a mandolin. They produce an appealing, very rural sound, common in the South ten years or so before, but pretty much on its last legs by this time.
So, an attractive record for those who love the country blues, and for those who need everything Muddy ever did, but the great days were still to come.
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Format: Audio CD
If your idea of what a Muddy Waters tune should sound like is the cut-and-shuffle of "Hoochie Coochie Man" or the hard-hitting "I've Got My Mojo Working", the music on this album may come as a surprise to you. This is strictly acoustic stuff, split between solo performances and recordings with the Son Simms Four string band, and the style (if not the voice) recalls Waters' self-professed mentor, the legendary Eddie "Son" House.
Stil, if you're interested in country blues, this is an important and interesting document, showcasing the great Muddy Waters before he truly found a style of his own. The 1941 recording of "I Be's Troubled" (later redubbed "I Can't Be Satisfied") shows signs of things to come, but most of what is on here owes a huge debt to Son House first and William "Big Bill" Broonzy second. Waters' heavy-handed slide guitar attack is strongly reminiscent of House, whom Waters mentions several times during the four interview snippets spread across the record.
According to legend, listening to himself on acetate for the first time made Muddy Waters believe in himself and his abilities as a recording artist ("I didn't know I sang like that!"), and he eventually made it north to Chicago where his re-working of "I Be's Troubled" became a major local hit in 1948).
Among the highlights on this album are the House-esque "Country Blues", "I Be's Troubled", and "Rosalie", which is a virtual blueprint for Waters' later approach. Also listen to "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone" and the Charley Patton-like "You Got To Take Sick And Die Some Of These Days".
Again, this is NOT the kind of hard-rocking blues and deep grooves that made Muddy Waters the king of Chicago blues in the 50s (well, alongside Howlin' Wolf), but if you are interested in the developement of one of the most important post-war blues musicians, it is well worth picking up. And the music is good, too!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Seriously good and a must have for any Muddy Waters and/or slide blues fans.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Excellent album.
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