Muddy Waters – At Newport 1960 (1960)
I remember reading a quote from Keith Richards years ago about the differing durability of music. A (considerably less than thorough) Google search/skim didn’t instantly retrieve the original article but in Keith’s own inimitable way, it went something like this:
The Monkees = Crap (or some similarly disparaging adjective)
Muddy Waters = Music that will last
For a performer, a festival show is an interesting challenge: you’ve got about 40 minutes to wow an audience that didn’t necessarily attend the show to see you. By comparison, when headlining your own tour, playing a show for your own paying fans with no time constraints is effortless!
Challenge accepted at Newport by Muddy Waters. He tears through the set, audibly winning over the audience as he rolled along. In fact, he put so much energy into the first 8 numbers that he ran out of gas to sing the closer! I like how Got My Mojo Working was played twice. Much like Johnny Cash’s back-to-back San Quentin takes, the audience enjoyed it so much the first time the band promptly played it again.
This is another record where the audio may not be entirely representative, as apparently there were more than a few dance moves to go along with the songs.
That it was one of the first live blues albums has likely enhanced it’s legacy, though I have no problem with its 1001 inclusion on a purely performance basis.
However, the editors of the 1001 albums book may be receiving a strongly-worded letter from the lead guitarist of The Rolling Stones. With six appearances, The Stones are well represented, no issues there. For very different reasons, Keith Richards would likely have a beef with the two aforementioned artists each making one appearance on the list.
If an artist can be evaluated by quantity of albums featured among the 1001, then Muddy Waters & The Monkees would be viewed as equals. There’s a chance Keith won’t be the only one that disagrees!