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Monday, October 11, 2004

Got my John the Conqueror Root and my Mojo too.

what i'm listening to Right Now: Terry Gilliam - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

I stumbled on this book at the coliseum Barnes and Noble that was about Chess Records.

Chess Records was Muddy Waters record company. This little fella named Leonard Chess used to swear and lot. He owned the studio, and produced Muddy's stuff. And thanks to this book, I found out that little Leonard even played the drum on "She Moves Me".

I first heard Muddy's stuff when I was discovering the blues in late 1995. I had just started Victorville Community College and was living on my own in an apartment building a stone's throw from the sands of the Mojave river. "Devil in a Blue Dress" starring Denzel Washington was on the big screens and my mother bought me the soundtrack. "Thought you might like this kind of music."

I did and since I knew no one in Victorville, I spent hours scouring the local Warehouse Music (next to Del Taco) and buying every $2.99 "Best of the Blues" cassette tape I could find. So went the days before the Internerd and Rhapsody player.

I first heard Muddy specifically from the Goodfellas soundtrack. I dug the big, electric sound of Mannish Boy and bought a "Best of" Muddy from the outlet mall outside Barstow. I was disappointed. I was expecting more big, big sounds ala Johnny Lee Hooker, but this had a lot of Delta style, stripped down sounds. I put it away and followed my parents through the west, through the middle, through Memphis, and into the Appalachian mountains. Settling in Virginia. Reverse migration, America had long been stolen away.

Well, long story short: I fell in love with that Muddy CD after I gave it an honest listen. It was stolen on Pearl St. in Manhattan on a vacation I took up there last year.

Here is one of the best Muddy tracks ever:

Muddy Waters - Trouble No More.mp3 (3.2 megs)

And here is the track that the potty-mouthed Leonard played on:

Muddy Waters - She Moves Me.mp3 (3.5 megs)

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