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Breakin' It Up, Breakin' It Down (Live)

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iTunes Review

After producing and playing on Muddy Waters’ 1977 LP Hard Again, Johnny Winter fulfilled a lifetime dream by setting out to tour with Waters and legendary Chicago harpest James Cotton. Breakin’ It Up & Breakin’ It Down captures the highlights of that tour, which offered a blues connoisseur’s dream lineup. In addition to Winter, Waters, and Cotton, there are two more heavyweight Chicago warriors: Pinetop Perkins is on piano and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith is on drums. Considering that these men were getting on in years, and that Winter was best known for his roaring Hendrix-style instrumentals, it’s amazing how fleet-footed the performances are. There’s a light touch to “Caledonia,” “Rocket 88,” and “Mama Talk to Your Daughter” not often associated with the hacksaw approach of '70s blues. There are moments where the band summons its bulk and brimstone (like on “Black Cat Bone/Dust My Broom”), but the lasting impression is the jazziness they bring to “Got My Mojo Workin’.” Best of all is “Can’t Be Satisfied.” Winter could have crowded Waters, but instead he hangs back, turning in a version that's very close to Waters’ bony, rubbery original from 1941.

Customer Reviews


Bluesheads have had this material for years on lesser quality bootlegs and finally part of this great live show appears on an official CD. The sound is clear and fullbodied. Every track cooks and you can just hear how into this show each of these blues legends are. This is a great sampler of Muddy, Johnny and Cotton that would only be better if it were a two disc set with the entire set list. Buy it now and turn a friend on to it later.

Breakin' It Up, Breakin' It Down

Some 33 years or so ago, Muddy and James came to Concord College in Athens, WV and played to a not so packed house. I remember hearing Muddy make the comment that went something like, "For all those that are not here will not know what they've missed, but for you that are here, we're gonna blow you away!" It seemed like they played forever! They were absolutely awesome! They had a great time playing songs and just "jamming" on stage. This album brings back a wonderful memory of a great concert. These gentlemen are true artists! Add this album to your collection and you'll never regret it!

Breakin it up, Breakin it down

Excellent will begin to understand why good blues music comes from deep within. You can feel the raw passion and emotion from the artists. Got My Mojo Working and Dust My Broom/Blackcat Bone are some of the best blues music/renditions I have ever heard...but with three great talents you would expect nothing else!


Born: July 1, 1935 in Tunica, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

At his high-energy, 1970s peak as a bandleader, James Cotton was a bouncing, sweaty, whirling dervish of a bluesman, roaring his vocals and all but sucking the reeds right out of his defenseless little harmonicas with his prodigious lung power. Due to throat problems during his latter years, Cotton's vocals were no longer what they used to be, but he remained a masterful instrumentalist for decades. Cotton had some gargantuan shoes to fill when he stepped into Little Walter's slot as Muddy Waters'...
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