In 1960, when Muddy Waters recorded this album as a tribute to Big Bill Broonzy two years after his death, he could be sure of Broonzy’s approval. »Oh yeah, Muddy is a real singer of the Blues«, Big Bill, that Mississippi foundation stone, was heard to say early on in Muddy Waters’ career, although the sound of the man 15 years his junior could be likened to new shoots coming out of the gnarled root named the Blues.
Full of confidence after a “Best Of” compilation released on the Chess label in 1959 and his legendary appearance at the Newport Folk Festival, Muddy set down his own Broonzy songs. It goes almost without saying that such successful numbers as “I Feel So Good“ and “Tell Me Baby“ are overflowing with a ‘Chicago feeling‘ which gets right under your skin. Pulsating with the metallic heartbeat of the electric guitar and the gyrating licks which James Cotton conjures out of his harmonica, the cover title amalgamates the individual styles of two top-notch Blues musicians to produce a highly emotional mixture. And let’s not forget the band formed around keyboarder Otis Spann, their fellow musician of many years’ standing. Just listen carefully to this small but excellent ensemble and you will certainly forget the banal term ‘rhythm group‘!