Muddy Waters: Louisiana Blues
Muddy Waters (guitar, vocals)
Rollin' Stone: The Golden Anniversary Collection (MCA 088 112 301-2)
Elgin Evans (washboard), possibly Jimmy Rogers (second guitar).
Composed by McKinley Morganfield.
Recorded: Chicago, October 23, 1950
Rating: 96/100 (learn more)
Little Walter's distinctive and soon-to-be prominent harp work was introduced on this October 1950 session, providing mellow backup for Muddy Waters's lazy, loping beat during the initial verses of "Louisiana Blues," the first of Muddy's major mojo-magical songs, with the familiar lyric "I'm goin' down in New Orleans, get me a mojo hand." (Those ju-ju devices figure most prominently in the near-theme song hit "Got My Mojo Working," and there's some voodoo happening in "Hoochie Coochie Man" too.) But what starts out melodically and a bit sleepily soon takes on a slightly greater urgency as both harp and guitar seem to speed up a fraction and gain some in volume. (This eventually became a favorite track – and arrangement trick – for some British blues bands.)
Reviewer: Ed Leimbacher