There are a handful of landmark albums in any genre. In the blues, one of them is Muddy Waters’ Folk Singer. Originally released in 1964, Folk Singer was the only acoustic album Waters ever recorded, thus becoming the first and perhaps best blues concept album ever. Now, Folk Singer (Chess/MCA/UMG), which includes fellow blues greats Buddy Guy and Willie Dixon backing up Waters, is being re-released on July 27, 1999, in an expanded version that features five bonus tracks recorded during the two 1964 sessions that followed those for the album.
Full band recordings with such renowned sidemen as harmonica giant James Cotton and pianist Otis Spann, the bonus selections include two genuine Waters classics, “The Same Thing” and “You Can’t Lose What You Never Had,” plus three bawdy rarities--“Short Dress Woman,” “Put Me In Your Lay Away” and “My John The Conqueror Root.” The latter has not been released since its original issue as a Chess single.
Folk Singer, both the original and this re-release, features many of the songs Muddy made famous early in his career. Recorded in 1963 with Guy on guitar, Dixon on bass and Clifton James on drums, the album spotlights remarkably beautiful updates of songs which first established his place in blues history, such as “My Home Is In The Delta,” “Country Boy” and “Long Distance Call,” as well as the chain gang song “My Captain.” There’s also his solo version of “Feel Like Going Home,” his first major R&B hit in the late ‘40s.
Each of the 14 tracks has been 24-bit digitally remastered from its original source tapes. The album package also includes the original liner notes by album co-producer Ralph Bass as well as updated notes by blues authority Mary Katherine Aldin.
Muddy Waters was the king of electric Chicago blues but on Folk Singer he proved to be, simply, one of the greats of 20th century music.
1. My Home Is In The Delta
2. Long Distance
3. My Captain
4. Good Morning Little School Girl
5. You Gonna Need My Help
6. Cold Weather Blues
7. Big Leg Woman
8. Country Boy
9. Feel Like Going Home
10. The Same Thing
11. You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had
12. My John The Conqueror Root
13. Short Dress Woman
14. Put Me In Your Lay Away