Muddy Waters' son Mud following in his footsteps
He bears an uncanny resemblance to his father both in looks and in his musicianship. Mud Morganfield is the eldest son of Blues great Muddy Waters and he shares the same perfect blues phrasing as his dad. Mud however is a late bloomer. He didn’t begin a professional career in music in his native Chicago until after his father died in 1983 and he was nearly 30.
Born Larry Williams in 1954, Mud grew up surrounded by music, and particularly the blues, and he’s played music all his life, starting out with the drums his dad gave him as a child, then moving on to the bass guitar. Supporting himself as a bus driver, just like his father did in the early years, Mud cut his teeth in south Chicago Blues clubs where he proved a popular draw on both the club and festival circuit. Audiences couldn’t get enough of his mix of his dad’s songs and original works.
Mud says of his performances of Muddy Waters’ songs that he started to sing to show the world what his dad left behind. He is proud to sing his father’s songs and says while he’s not pretending to be Muddy, when he gets up on the stage, he can feel his ‘pops’ with him.
Mud had to find himself some Blues
Mud tells me he had to go out and get himself some blues before he could sing and play with authenticity. He recalls his childhood and the role that his dad played and explains that growing up he never realised how important and influential his father was.
Muddy Waters with The Rolling Stones
Today Mud Morganfield is a mullti-award-winning artist himself and an established star in the world of Blues music. His singing is firmly rooted in the best traditions of Chicago Blues, but he is also a writer of wonderful new songs and he is backed by some of the best musicians playing today. He is acclaimed by both critics and artists such as Buddy Guy and Jools Holland for his own musical ability,
Mud Morganfield’s latest Delmark album PORTRAIT is out now and receiving critical acclaim worldwide. During our chat, Mud makes it very clear that his entire career is dedicated to his pops, Muddy Waters. He credits his love for music to generational influences and is so proud that he inherited it.
The latest single "Praise Him"
I hope you’ll join me to hear Mud Morganfield tell his story. It’s one of hope and survival, the story of a man raised by aunts and uncles in his father’s absence, growing up on the wrong side of the tracks in the south of Chicago, trying to carve an identity for himself in the shadow of greatness.
To learn more about Mud check out his website here and if you enjoy this episode, consider listening to some of my others with Blues players including Charlie Musselwaite and Canned Heat’s Fito de la Parra