Muddy Waters / Muddy Waters Blues Band

Mud in Your Ear

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In a perhaps misguided attempt to hook Muddy Waters up with the young audience that was into the psychedelic blues rock of Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and others at the time, Chess Records released Electric Mud in 1968. Electric Mud, which was either great or a complete disaster, depending on your tolerance for certain things, didn't fare that well commercially, but it did toss Waters' name out there into the rock world. Waters cut two albums the next year for Alan Douglas, who had produced both Last Poets and Hendrix, and was known to have an edgy approach to things in the studio. Waters was under contract to Chess, however, and he wasn't allowed to sing at the sessions, so he played guitar, and in case anyone forgot, he was a pretty fair slide player. The LPs were eventually released and attributed to the Muddy Waters Band (which, at the time, featured Mojo Buford on harmonica and Otis Spann on piano), with guitarist Luther Johnson fronting things and handling the vocals quite soulfully.In spite of the freaky psychedelic cover art, it's a rather straightforward set of well-done Chicago blues, free of fuzz and fuss.

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