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Authorized Bootleg: Muddy Waters (Live At Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA - Nov 4-6, 1966)

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Album Review

Part of Universal's Authorized Bootleg series, this disc combines 15 highlights from Muddy Waters' multi-night stint at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium in November 1966. These shows may have been held at a famous rock venue but these recordings have more in common with the performances Muddy gave on the blues and folk festival circuit in the mid-'60s. Muddy and the band are tight and professional, running through numbers they've played many times - of the 15 tracks, "Forty Days and Forty Nights," "Hoochie Coochie Man," "Rock Me," "Baby Please Don't Go" are all repeated - and they don't push, they're so relaxed they even let the tempo almost drag at times. This means there's not much kinetic energy here, but it's not bland either: Muddy is always a powerful, compelling center and there's some prickly ice-pick thin guitar popping up in unexpected places. The professionalism keeps the two sets here enjoyable but it's those slight surprises that make this worthwhile.


Born: 04 April 1915 in Rolling Fork, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Muddy Waters was the single most important artist to emerge in post-war American blues. A peerless singer, a gifted songwriter, an able guitarist, and leader of one of the strongest bands in the genre (which became a proving ground for a number of musicians who would become legends in their own right), Waters absorbed the influences of rural blues from the Deep South and moved them uptown, injecting his music with a fierce, electric energy and helping pioneer the Chicago Blues style that would come...
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