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Another side to Muddy
on 27 December 2005
In marked contrast to the hard, aggressive sound of his work with Johnny Winter the following year, this album shows another, far more relaxed side to Muddy Waters, as he revisits old songs and launches new ones in the laid-back company of his regular sidemen and some celebrity names. Producer and songwriter Henry Glover had gone into partnership with Levon Helm from the Band and converted a barn into a recording studio called Bearsville in Turtle Creek, Woodstock NY, and the Muddy Waters sessions, recorded 6-7 February 1975, were the first fruits.
Although there is a light front-porch touch throughout the album, probably influenced by Levon Helm's subtle drumwork and Garth Hudson's distinctive organ and accordion accompaniment, there is nothing lacklustre about it, with fine contributions thoughout from local resident Paul Butterfield on harmonica and from Waters' regular piano player and vocalist Pinetop Perkins. The album kicks off with Why Are People Like That, written by Bobby Charles, another Woodstock resident. Muddy Waters switches to slide guitar for two of his own new songs, and performs Kansas City in honour of Henry Glover, who produced it for Little Willie Littlefield back in 1952 (as KC Lovin'). Louis Jordan and his Tympani Five are also remembered through versions of Caldonia and Let The Good Times Roll.
The album concludes with a previously unreleased bonus track, Fox Squirrel, a Muddy Waters composition.