Mud Morganfield and Kim Wilson Releasing Muddy Waters Tribute
The genesis for this recording project was simple, according to Severn president David Earl. "I couldn't ignore all the requests," he said. "After we released Mud Morganfield's Son of the 7th Son album and The Fabulous Thunderbirds' On the Verge disc, the phone was ringing off the hook and the inbox was flooded with emails. The topic was always the same: 'You have to get Mud and Kim to do an album together!' So, after all the prodding, I picked up the phone and asked both Mud and Kim if they would like to do an album together. They resoundingly said, 'yes!'"
In addition to Mud Morganfield's vocals, which bear an uncanny resemblance to his late father's sound, and Kim Wilson's award-winning harmonica work, the duo are backed by an all-star team of players schooled in the Chicago-style of blues playing: Billy Flynn and Rusty Zinn (guitars), Barrelhouse Chuck (piano), Steve Gomes (bass) and Robb Stupka (drums). The album was produced by David Earl and Steve Gomes and recorded at Severn Sound Studios in Annapolis, Maryland.
In keeping with the organic nature of classic blues music recordings, the For Pops album tracking took on the feel of a late night jam session. "We began with an old-fashioned 'house party' in our studio," recalled David Earl. "Attendees included friends and family from all over the mid-Atlantic region, who were treated to a wonderful performance by Mud and Kim, along with some barbeque and spirits. The next day, the overall thought was to record the album 'live' in the studio and capture the feel we had at the party. All the instruments were recorded together in the same room in order to truly capture the interplay between the musicians. Mud was isolated so we could put the best possible sound to tape. We spent four days recording and actually mixed it at the end of the week with all the musicians present. It was a whirlwind, but at the end of the day, everyone agreed that 'Pops" would be proud."
Facing the daunting task of which Muddy Waters songs from his vast catalogue to include on For Pops, the mutual decision was made to record some of Muddy's better-known tunes, but also some lesser-known ones that would demonstrate the vibrant scope of how encompassing was the legend's blues repertoire. The rest of the players chosen for the sessions were all hand-picked by Mud, Kim and David Earl based not only on their musical chops, but their feel for playing this music within the classic Chicago blues ensemble format.
"I would like to thank everyone who has put so much into the making of this album," said Mud Morganfield during the sessions. "It's coming up on my Dad's 100th birthday and that makes me even more proud to be a part of this great release. I thank all blues lovers and fans around the world; the music we make today always comes to you and history."
MPM submitted this story.