Muddy Waters: Forty Days and Forty Nights


Forty Days and Forty Nights


Muddy Waters (vocals)


Muddy Waters: The Chess Box (Chess MCA CHD3-80002)

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Muddy Waters (vocals), Little Walter (harmonica), Jimmy Rogers (guitar), Willie Dixon (bass),

Francis Clay (drums)


Composed by Bernard Roth


Recorded: Chicago, 1956


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

From the mid-1950s into the '60s, Muddy Waters's Chess singles and "hits" kept a-comin' not big-money chart numbers, but releases gaining national and international acclaim and he settled comfortably into the role of master blues entertainer, purveying up-tempo arrangements, lyrics of innuendo (sly and not so), gruffer vocals, and less and less of his own slide guitar. (In fact the Chess Blues Box makes a point of his "vocals only" for half of the 72 chosen tracks.) So his Noah-count single "Forty Days and Forty Nights" will have to stand in for dozens of other candidate numbers. It's still Little Walter and Jimmy Rogers behind him, but could as well be James Cotton or Walter Horton, Pat Hare or Luther Tucker, or the scores of tunes blessed with Otis Spann rocking the piano. Muddy's shouted vocals seem the exalted epitome of his style of blues declaiming, and the band just keeps thrusting straight on: no muss, no fuss, don't go no further; the real thing is right here.

Reviewer: Ed Leimbacher

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