He was raised by his grandmother (who gave him the nickname Muddy) when his mother died shortly after his birth. Muddy’s exact date of birth is questionable with reports of his birth either being 1913 or 1915. Either way, it would be 1946 before he recorded his first album. Having discovered music as so many great artists do, in his local church in his early teens, he learned how to play harmonica and when he was seventeen he sold the family’s last horse to buy himself a guitar. With that, he started to play regularly in local joints, at which point he garnered his full moniker of Muddy Waters.
In 1964, Muddy Waters would record his only all-acoustic, released under the Chess Records label. ‘Folk Singer’ would bring together a legendary group of musicians with Waters on lead guitar, Willie Dixon on string bass, Clifton James on drums and Buddy Guy on acoustic guitar. All Waters’ previous albums had featured an electric blues sound, with Chess Records leaping on the popularity of the folk movement and recording an all-acoustic album. It was Chess themselves who chose the album title ‘Folk Singer’, to appeal to the masses. Although not charting anywhere, it was a critically acclaimed album with most praising it’s instrumentation.
The Final Word
Till next time Brewers,