Muddy Waters: Honey Bee
Muddy Waters (guitar, vocals)
Rollin' Stone: The Golden Anniversary Collection (MCA 088 112 301-2)
Composed by McKinley Morganfield.
Recorded: Chicago, January 23, 1951
Rating: 98/100 (learn more)
By late 1950, producer Leonard Chess was finally admitting that the 1940s amplified duets approach had run its course, and that Muddy Waters's reputation as a bandleader had spread far enough to merit bigger session arrangements, starting with the addition of Little Walter or Jimmy Rogers fairly regularly (and gradually others). Chess himself played bang-along bass drum on the three-man thudder "She Moves Me," but this other, more intriguing trio puts Little Walter on guitar (a man of many parts!), his picking style ringing out in contrast to the slap-strings lead of Muddy. In the booklet accompanying the Chess Muddy Waters box, musician/critic Robert Palmer writes knowledgeably of microtonal sounds and black-keys-on-the-piano sources, but I just shrug and say, "Sail on, my little honey bee, sail on!"
Reviewer: Ed Leimbacher