"Mud Morganfield eldest son of the
undisputed king of the blues Muddy Waters has
been delivering his charismatic Chicago blues of the highest order to
audiences around the world .... He looks and sounds strikingly like his
old man, so much so that one of his dad's former sidemen said "Mud
looks and sounds like his old man in a way no one else can. Itís like
watching a ghost in the fleshĒ. Movinmusic Agency
"More than a pastiche.... a genuine artist who just happens to sound
like his daddy.... Mud Morganfield is a natural performer, at ease and
full of fun."
Fred Rothwell, Blues and Rhythm magazine
"I started to sing to show the world
that dad left me here. I love and am proud to sing his songs just like I
love and and will always be proud of him. I'm not Muddy Waters and I'm
certainly not trying to be Muddy Waters. I'm Mud Morganfield but when
I'm up on stage I always feel pops is there with me and it means so much
that I can get on stage and keep his music alive around the world."
He has shared the stage and gained the
respect of many of his Dad's ex sidemen and Chicago blues superstars,
Buddy Guy, Kenny 'Big Eyes' Smith, Eddie 'The Chief' Clearwater, Pinetop
Perkins, Jimmie Johnson, Mojo Buford, to name but a few and at The 2009
Chicago Blues Festival he shared front man duties with his younger
brother Big Bill Morganfield in fronting an all star band including the
legendary musicians - Pinetop Perkins and Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith to an
explosive audience reaction.
Alan: You were born the first son of Muddy Waters in 1954 but where
exactly where you born?
Mud: I was born in Chicago.
Alan: And what were your first musical memories?
Mud: Hearing Pops play around the house. Sometime my Mom would take
me into the bars.
Alan: You were raised by your mother as Larry Williams, using your
motherís maiden name. It must have been hard during those early years?
Mud: Very hard. It was hard for Momma to raise boys. They can raise
girls but itís hard to raise young men.
Alan: How often did you see your Dad?
Mud: Not often at all. Not as often as Iíd have liked to but he was
always on the road working and when he came home he always wanted to
sleep 2 to 3 days from being jet-lagged.
Alan: Did you always want to become a musician?
Mud: I always have played music. Pop used to buy me a set of drums
every Christmas. I started off as a drummer and gradually went to
playing bass and writing by bass. I donít play bass professionally but
I have several that I write my music by.
Alan: For many years you kept a low profile really. How did you
get started in music?
Mud: Itís always been a part of me. Just because say BB King or Buddy
Guy have children it donít mean the children are going to carry on in
their footsteps so to speak. It donít always happen out there you know,
you could be a doctor and your kid could be a rock star.
Alan: ďMud looks and sounds like his old man in a way no one
else can. Itís like watching a ghost in the fleshĒ - a quote that's
been said about you. How does it feel being the eldest son of probably
the most famous blues legend of them all?
Mud: Itís a blessing and it can also be a curse. Iíve heard people
compare me, and people loved Pops and Iíve tried to make it very clear
that Iím just an apple that fell off the tree and it gives me great
honour to keep my Dadís legacy alive. Not only that but I think we have
a born right as children to kind of like mimic the parents, be it the
mom or the dad and in this case it's my father.
Alan: Apart from your Dad, who are your favourite blues artists?
Mud: Well, you know, I talk a lot with the Dirty Aces, theyíre a great
band weíve toured together several times and I tried to explain even to
my audience that I didnít come up in the area that my Dad did with the
old James Cotton's and stuff. It was a totally different era, the era
with the Johnny Taylors, the Tyrone Daviesís, the Michael Jacksonís, the
Temptations. You know I come up with those kind of guys so I kind of
related to them but I always thought about my Dad and his music.
Alan: Apart from your Dad
whoís influenced you in your writing of your own material?
Mud: My Mom! Oh, the sun donít shine till my Momís up with me and
sheís been a shine in the dark for me.
Alan: Are there any particular songs you play which have special
meaning to you?
Mud: Yes, theyíre my Dadís, theyíre his stuff. We play some of my own
stuff and Iím looking at releasing a new CD in January or the beginning
of February and itís just my own stuff. Again Iím humbled and Iím
honoured to do my fatherís stuff.
Alan: Tell me about the making of your 2008 debut studio album,
'Fall Waters Fall' was it mainly your own material?
Mud: Yes, that all come out of me alone in my room with my bass guitar
writing the riffs and I had some great players on it like Tom Holland,
Rick Kreher who was my Dadís last guitar player, I had some great cats
who gave me a pretty good sound. I was still a greenhorn too, ha, ha!
But the one particular song on there is the 'Fall Waters Fall';
song, a song I dedicated to my father. There was so many things that
me and my Dad didnít get a chance to talk about as a young man and I
just miss him so greatly, his guidance, itís all in that song.
Alan: Is there a conflict between audiences that want to hear
Muddyís music and playing your own material; do people come along asking
for Muddy songs?
Mud: I get that a lot and people begin to look to me for that. I
donít want to blow my horn but itís not done quite like that by anyone
but me and Iím just on it. Sometimes I donít know who to thank for it,
do I thank Pops, do I thank God, who do I thank that gave me this voice?
Alan: Tell me about the making of your latest album, Live,
which I understand was recorded in Jersey with the Dirty Aces.
Mud: Yes, you know I feel a strong attachment to England. These cats
come over, everyone knows the story - the Rolling Stones, and they got
Pop involved in England and the English accepted my father
whole-heartedly and I feel attached for that.
Alan: I remember seeing him at Mothers Club in Birmingham, England Ė
fabulous, absolutely fabulous.
How did you first meet up with the Dirty Aces?
Mud: I think that was Giles Robson. He saw me on You Tube somewhere
and he sent me an email and we started talking and he was speaking about
this great piece of land called Jersey and he brought me over. From
there the recording became a living.
Alan: In May this year you took part in the Amtrak National Train
Mud: Ahh, great stuff! You know that thing there was probably one of
the best things that ever happened to me. For a few reasons. One, I
got a chance to visit a bunch of southern states that I had never seen
in my entire life and I stayed there. Not only that each place we
stopped we had a brass band like we were Obama and food just lay on the
table and we were on such a tight schedule that the band played, we
grabbed a little food , got back on the train and hit the next southern
state. We ended up at my Dadís in Rolling Fork and when we got off the
train there must have been about 10 or 20 of my kin folk who me and my
brothers never had met so it was just fantastic, man.
Alan: And then you played at Ground Zero Club, Clarksdale.
Mud: Yes, we played at Ground Zero with Big Bill and Grady Champion.
Alan: Oh, Grady Champion! I saw him at Chicago Blues Festival this
Mud: Yes, Grady Champion.... He's hot!
Alan: He had this dancer in front of the stage in a bikini, wow she
Mud: This guy, Grady, he was twisting and blowing the harp before we
even got off the train. Heís a handful and I love him to death.
Alan: That must have been fantastic, a great experience for you.
Mud: It certainly was.
Mud, Big Bill and Grady Champion in
Mississippi celebrating National Train Day, 6th May 2010 ...
Alan: Some music styles may be fads but the blues is always with
us. Why do you think that is?
Mud: Itís simple, everyone has the blues, even babies. They want a
bottle and you donít give Ďem a bottle they get the blues and they go to
kicking, screaming. You know the blues is just an emotion, yeh, itís
life. If you canít pay your rent, you got some blues. Anything that
puts you in a depressing state is definitely got to be called the blues.
Alan: So how do you see the future of blues music?
Mud: I'll just tell you, Iíll be honest with you. I come out 5 or 6
years ago and I am just really astounded by how many new up and coming
blues artists are not really accepted inside on the clique, as you may
call it, inside the clan. But hereís the kicker Ė they say that the
blues is lost, it's dead, it's gone, bye, but you wonít let these
artists come in. You have some great artists standing in the street
playing for coins.
Alan: As you've been over here a few times, how would you compare
the UK to the States?
Mud: I gotta go home now, ha, ha! [Lots of background laugher from
the band] I ain't gonna answer that! But, let me just tell you this.
I travel the world on Godís will and I never saw an audience greater
than overseas. I had one show in Jersey, where I met the Dirty Aces,
that you could hear a pin drop on the floor. Go imagine that, itís
great stuff, I love it.
Alan: So what are your future plans? You mentioned a CD in the New
Mud: Yes, I want to try and get something out. Iíve been working on a
bunch of stuff that I think is great, although what might be great to me
might not be great to you but itís still gonna come out blues that I
guarantee you. It will definitely come out blues.
Alan: Mud, thank you very much indeed.
Mud and The Dirty Aces during their 2010 UK tour,
featuring Giles Robson on harp, Mike Hellier on drums, Ian Jennings on
bass and Filip Kozlowski on guitar ....
Mud and Big Bill play Mannish Boy at Chicago Blues
Festival 2009 ...