Mud, Glorious Mud…
Multi-award-winning artist Mud Morganfield is an established star in the world of Blues music. The eldest son of the legendary Muddy Waters, Mud was brought up surrounded by many of the finest Blues musicians.
Possessing a baritone voice very much like his father’s, Mud is blessed with a similar sense of vocal phrasing and a sense of how to command a stage. Set firmly in the tradition of charismatic Chicago Blues; his big, powerful voice conveys deep emotional resonance on the slow numbers and good old-fashioned testosterone-laden strut on those classic shuffles. Mud is also a writer of great new songs and is acclaimed by both critics and artists such as Buddy Guy and Jools Holland for his own musical ability, as well as being backed by some of the best musicians playing today.
Born Larry Williams in 1954, Mud Morganfield (who has also gone by the name Muddy Waters Jr.), was naturally surrounded by music, and he’s played all his life; he explains “I always have played music. Pops used to buy me a set of drums every Christmas. I started off as a drummer and gradually went to playing bass…” Supporting himself as a truck driver, just like his father did when he was first starting out, Mud didn’t seriously consider being a professional blues musician until after Waters’ death in 1983, by which time Mud was already close to 30: “I ran from the blues, and I ran from it, and I ran from it,” he reflects. “But it caught up with me, man.”
Morganfield made up for lost time. He cut his teeth in the south-side Chicago clubs, where he was soon a popular draw on the blues club and festival circuit, mixing both original songs and Muddy Waters classics into his live sets.
He self-released a debut album, Fall Waters Fall, in 2008, and a ‘real’ album followed four years later – Son of the Seventh Son, which made the Top 50 Best Blues Albums of 2012 for Classic Rock and About.com, and two Blues Blast awards. In 2015 Mud’s album For Pops (A Tribute To Muddy Waters) contained covers of his father’s earlier recordings from the Delta, rather than material his most famous material. It won a prestigious BMA and Blues Blast Award for Traditional Blues Album. His most recent album, They Call Me Mud has also earned a host of great reviews.
With appearances at the biggest festivals and venues, including Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and the Royal Albert Hall, and on iconic TV shows such as Later… with Jools Holland, Mud is taking his surge in popularity in his stride.
He is sure that his father would be thrilled that he is bringing the blues to new audiences. “I started to sing to show the world that dad left me here. I love and am proud to sing his songs, just like I love and will always be proud of him. I’m not Muddy Waters and I’m certainly not trying to be Muddy Waters. I’m Mud Morganfield. But when I’m up on stage I always feel pops is there with me and it means so much that I can get on stage and keep his music alive around the world.”
Mud Morganfield plays at The Apex on Tuesday 14 January at 7.30pm. Call the Box Office on 01284 758000, or visit www.theapex.co.uk for more information, or to book.