The Muddy Waters Tribute Band: You're Gonna Miss Me (when I'm dead and gone)
It's been years in the making, and the eagerly awaited "Muddy Waters Tribute Album" is finally finished. In the April issue of "Blues Revue," Bob Margolin, who sang and played guitar as part of the honorary compilation, tells what it was like getting it all together. "It's a '90s thing," wrote Margolin. "We get tributes by the truckload; some succeed and some just suck. It was only a matter of time before someone would put together a high-profile tribute album for one of the most obvious icons, Muddy Waters. I think you'll find that this one was done right."
The album was engendered three years ago when Muddy's '70s band reunited for five bookings. Together again with Pinetop Perkins on piano, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith on drums, Calvin "Fuzz" Jones on bass, Jerry Portnoy on harp, and Luther "Guitar Jr." and Margolin on guitars, the band was a magic time-traveling machine. According to Margolin, it was as if Muddy was resurrected for a time, and as Luther put it, as if "Muddy's spirit was with them."
Those first five gigs were the start of something big. The band continued to tour and have good times, often thinking of the man who was missing. At the same time, promoter Jack Randall was in the process of putting together the all-star list of musicians that would join the "Muddy Waters Tribute Band" on the up and coming album. Randall contacted famous Blues and Rock musicians who were Muddy's friends and/ or music disciples, and ended up with an amazing roster. Special guests on the album include Gregg Allman, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Levon Helm, Koko Taylor, James Cotton, Sonny Landreth, Billy Branch and Peter Wolf. Margolin, who only recently received a preliminary copy of the finished album wrote, "I'm relieved to find that the musicians did not overplay and that John Snyder did not overproduce. This would make Muddy happy. The production itself is a tribute to the basic Blues sound that Muddy favored, raw and in-your face, with occasional Chess-style slap echo." Margolin was especially pleased to find that the album delivers the distinctive, identifiable sound that helped make Muddy's '70s albums and performances a peak near the end of his career.
Margolin pointed out a few other highlights on the album, such as Luther "Guitar Jr." and Buddy Guy's vocals, and Jerry
Portnoy's acoustic harp solo on "Goin' Down Slow." He also wrote that "Koko Taylor's vocal on 'Mean Mistreater' is just plain
down and dirty, everything you would hope for." From this insider's review, it appears fans can expect the same from the
Levon sings lead on "Going to Main Street."
Sidemen(only members of the Band listed)
The Muddy Waters Tribute Band - You're Gonna Miss Me (when I'm dead and gone) - 1996 - Telarc TEL-83335