Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones Live At The Checkerboard Lounge, Chicago 19
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On November 22nd, 1981, in the middle of their mammoth American tour, the Rolling Stones arrived in Chicago prior to playing 3 nights at the Rosemont Horizon. Long influenced by the Chicago blues, the band paid a visit to Muddy Waters club the Checkerboard Lounge to see the legendary bluesman perform. It didn t take long before Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Ian Stewart were joining in on stage and later Buddy Guy and Lefty Dizz also played their part. It was a unique occasion that was fortunately captured on camera. Now, restored from the original footage and with sound mixed and mastered by Bob Clearmountain, this amazing blues night is being made available in an official release for the first time. / Performers: Muddy Waters (vocals, guitar); Mick Jagger (vocals); Keith Richards (guitar); Ronnie Wood (guitar); Ian Stewart (piano); Buddy Guy (vocals, guitar); Lefty Dizz (vocals, guitar); Junior Wells (harmonica, vocals); George Mojo Buford (harmonica); Lovie Lee (piano); Earnest Johnson (bass); Ray Allison (drums); John Primer (guitar); Rick Kreher (guitar); Nick Charles (bass) / Track Listing:
1) Sweet Little Angel 2) Flip Flop And Fly 3) Muddy Waters Introduction 4) You Don t Have To Go 5) Country Boy 6) Baby Please Don't Go 7) Hoochie Coochie Man 8) Long Distance Call 9) Mannish Boy 10) Got My Mojo Working 11) Next Time You See Me 12) One Eyed Woman 13) Baby Please Don't Go (Instrumental) 14) Blow Wind Blow 15) Champagne & Reefer
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Everybody was crammed into the club like sardines in a can. Muddy Waters was up front and center perched on his chair belting out the blues with his band when in walks The Stones in town to perform their own gig. The boys saunter into the club, pull up a few chairs and settle in while Waters is warming up the crowd.
The Stones idolized Muddy Waters back in the 1960's when Muddy was touring spreading the blues gospel to the rest of the world. The connection was made back then between the blues and rock and roll as we have it today. The blues seed was planted and the Stones nurtured this style of music into their own style of music.
It doesn't take long before Muddy is coaxing Mick up to the stage to join in and next thing you know he has them all up jammin' as if their lives depended on it.
Other Blues Greats make their own way to the stage cramming it to over capacity to the delight of all those lucky dogs who were present. Lefty Dizz, Buddy Guy, and Junior Wells to name a few.
It seemed like everybody in the house was on something that night, a high octane groove was in the air and the banter and swagger back and forth between the performers was electrifying.
It was a hoot watching Mick strutting his stuff, wagging his caboose and howling to match one of his peers. His band mates coolly just played off to the side, chain smoking and rising forth when prompted to do so.
A few drinks later, a few fine performances past, the whole joint breaks loose. Lightening rarely strikes the same spot twice. Wish I could have been there to see history in the making.
The show really gets rolling during "Baby Please Don't Go," as we see four Stones enter--Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and Ian Stewart. When Waters sees them, he invites them to stage. In a way, this is eminently appropriate, since the Rolling Stones took their name from one of Waters' songs and since the Rolling Stones had extolled the virtues of Muddy Waters as an influence on their work (and sometimes had his songs in their play list). One of the touching aspects of this DVD is what appears to be genuine affection and warmth between the old blues warrior and his musical progeny, an unlikely band of Englishmen.
We see Richards and Wood playing with Waters' band on a number of songs; Waters invites Stewart to play the piano. Jagger and Waters play off of one another on the vocals. Making the video more enjoyable--more guests, including legends like Buddy Guy and Junior Wells who join in the music. The small stage features players leaving to make room for new players. The improvisational quality of the concert is most pleasurable.
And the songs? It's hard to beat "Mannish Boy," "Hoochie Coochie Man," "Got My Mojo Working," "Champagne and Reefer," and so on. One feature that I especially enjoyed was the various guitar players playing off of one another--Wood, Richards, Lefty Dizz, Guy, and Waters himself at some points, among others.
The quality of the DVD is pretty good, given that it was captured in 1981.
All in all, a terrific and energetic concert. It was telling to see the obvious influence that blues legends like Muddy Waters had on the Rolling Stones. And how naturally they played the blues. An hour and a half worth of music that seemed to last only moments as the performance unfolded. . . .
When Muddy sings in "Mannish Boy," "I'm a rolling stone..." you can tell that Mick is truly beside himself. The Stones were greatly influenced by Muddy and other blues greats, and at this performance you can tell that they are overjoyed to be sharing the stage with him.
I really like the intimate feel of the small club they performed at. At this point in the Stones' career they were mostly playing stadiums and large arenas. Here they could have shook hands with the audience, that's how close they were. Also the looseness and freeness of the show is very neat -- for example, when Muddy calls up each member of the Stones individually. That was cool.
I highly recommend this for any fan of the Stones, the blues, or music in general. It is absolutely necessary on all levels.