This even­tu­al­ly be­came Mud­dy Waters’ sig­na­ture tune, which is sort of a pity be­cause there were usu­al­ly more in­ter­est­ing songs in his set, but he seemed to gen­uine­ly love it, and brought so much to each per­for­mance that you had to join in the love.

I man­aged to see most of the big-name blues­man, most­ly in a pret­ty el­der­ly con­di­tion, but those are still high­light­s; I even in­ter­viewed Wil­lie Dixon for the stu­dent pa­per; I seem to re­call ask­ing him what he thought about white col­lege kids join­ing his au­di­ence and he looked at me like I was crazy; “Blues is for ev­ery­one, man.” I saw Mud­dy at the long-gone On­tario Place Fo­rum in Toron­to; he was re­al­ly old and had to per­form sit­ting down; then lurched out of his chair for Man­nish Boy, bust­ing some moves and hol­ler­ing “I’m a MAN!”; it was so awe­some.

Muddy Watters at the Last Waltz

At the Last Waltz.

There are loads of Man­nish Boy record­ings, but for me it’s not close; the one you want is from Hard Again, pro­duced by and fea­tur­ing John­ny Win­ter­s. I wrote a whole blog piece about that record, and a re­lat­ed follow-up about lis­ten­ing to vinyl in the 21st cen­tu­ry. It’s a gem, and will con­vince you you’re in a base­ment club with Mud­dy and John­ny and the band at the oth­er end of the room.

This is part of the Song of the Day se­ries (back­ground).

Links · Spo­ti­fy playlist. This tune on Ama­zon, Spo­ti­fy, iTunes. Now, as for live video, the most fa­mous is when Mud­dy lit up the stage at The Last Waltz; it’s a sol­id per­for­mance (par­tic­u­lar­ly the har­mon­i­ca back­fil­l) and the pho­tog­ra­phy is bril­liant. But there is a lot of Mannish-Boy video out there on the Net, and most of them are good. Here’s one from 1971 that feels some­how the purest to me.

author · Dad · software · colophon · rights

February 25, 2018
· Arts (11 fragments)
· · Music (95 fragments)
· · · 5 Stars (90 more)
· Song of the Day (56 more)

By .

I am an employee
of, but
the opinions expressed here
are my own, and no other party
necessarily agrees with them.

A full disclosure of my
professional interests is
on the author page.