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An abysmal effort to celebrate the blues

Muddy Water Blues
Muddy Water Blues
By Paul Rodgers

Victory Music: 1993

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This review first appeared in the May 7, 1993 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

This is supposed to be a tribute to Muddy Waters, but fans of the late Chicago blues giant will find little to like here. In fact, the only tracks that really capture the essence of the blues are Rodgers' original paean to Waters and two tracks featuring rock guitarist Jeff Beck. And those two Beck tracks are bluesy in the way early-'70s British heavy blues and metal bands were, like Savoy Brown or UFO.

Rodgers, who gained his fame as lead singer in the bands Free, Bad Company and The Firm, never seems comfortable with the straight blues songs (although even Waters' own songs are only rarely played as the blues). Jason Bonham is overpower on drums, and the list of guest guitarists runs the rock gamut, from Slash of Guns 'N Roses to David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, Gary Moore to Richie Sambora from Bon Jovi, Neal Schon of Journey to Brian May of Queen. None shows any appreciable knack for the blues. Steve Miller and Brian Setzer do better – but the whole project is an abysmal failure as a blues album. Rock fans would be more likely to enjoy it, but how many would even pick it up?

Save your coin on this one.