Posted by Fleabit Peanut Monkey on September 25, 2000 at 22:11:29:
In Reply to: inspire me! posted by brother morphine on September 25, 2000 at 16:56:15:
I am humbled by my cohorts' votes of confidence.
I would agree with most of what's already been suggested - Robert Johnson isn't the place to start but is an eventual must-have. The album that started my own life-long passion was Muddy Waters' "Hard Again". I can't recommend it enough. The album which followed is "I'm Ready" and is also excellent. These are on Blue Sky, produced by Johnny Winter, and contain beautiful re-makes of some of Muddy's signature tunes from the 40's and 50's like "I Can't Be Satisfied" and "Mannish Boy" and "I Wants To Be Loved" and "Hoochie Coochie Man". After I got those two under my belt I started digging and heard the original Chess sides which are indispensible. In regard to the Wolf, I whole-heartedly agree with Annie. London Sessions is a great place to start.
In the case of these two GIANTS, the focus of their early careers were singles, not albums - in fact Muddy's first album was called "Muddy Waters' Greatest Hits" - so there are any number of albums which contain their important songs. The Chess box sets are highly recommended, both of Muddy & the Wolf, and also "The Chess Box" which has TONS of stuff by them and Little Walter and Willie Dixon (who played BASS, not guitar)and Elmore James and all the other greats whose ghosts haunt 2120 S. Michigan Ave.
So start with "Hard Again" and "London Sessions", get the Chess Box next, then it's an open road. There's so much great second tier stuff - Earl Hooker, Eddy Clearwater, Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers, R.L. Burnsides, J.B. Hutto and the Hawks, Buddy Guy... or you work your way BACK past Muddy & the Wolf to Son House, The Mississippi Sheiks, Memphis Minnie, The Rev. Gary Davis, Skip James, Blind Willie McTell - the road leads inexorably to the Complete Recordings of Robert Johnson (don't get a partial recording, he only made about 37 recordings - you need 'em all.)
Ah, all of this talk and I still haven't mentioned John Lee Hooker or Sonny Boy Williamson or BB King . Or Freddy King or Albert King or Albert Collins. Or Elmore James or Homesick James.
When I got hooked on "Mannish Boy" it was like discovering a shard of pottery which led to the unearthing of an entire civilization's artifacts.
Hope that helped.
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