Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Hoochie Coochie Man in Montreal
Genres: Blues, Pop
Good but not really remarkable
Docendo Discimus | Vita scholae | 12/24/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Subtitled "Live in Montreal", "Hoochie Coochie Man" was recorded in January 1977 at the Rising Sun Club in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Muddy Waters is backed by his classic mid-70s combo, the sound is very good, and the band is crackin'. There's not a whole lot here which you won't find on several other live album from this area, but most of these performances are very good, featuring an inspired Joe "Pinetop" Perkins at the piano.
A couple more up-tempo songs would have been nice...the album opens with the mid-tempo "Baby Please Don't Go" followed by two v-e-r-y slow numbers, and the clichéd "Highway 41", "I Want You To Love Me", and the seven-minute "Howlin' Wolf" in particular aren't really all that inspired. You'd be better off listening to "Howlin' Wolf" on the "Live Recordings 1965-73" album.
But there are still several highlights, like the swinging "Can't Get No Grindin'", a tough "Hoochie Coochie Man", a great rendition of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Nine Below Zero", and the then-new "The Blues Had A Baby". Also the opener, "Baby Please Don't Go", sounds better than many of Muddy's numerous versions of that song. Even the 11-minute closer, "Kansas City", is highly enjoyable, mostly because of a great performance by the band. Muddy shares lead vocals on that one with a couple of his bandmates...the sparse liner notes have nothing to say on the subject, but Pinetop Perkins sings the second verse, and I'm pretty sure that at least one of the remaining musicians also take a lead vocal. That would probably be Luther Johnson, but it could also be drummer Willie Smith, who is also an accomplished singer.
All in all, this is an enjoyable live album, but it's not an essential one. Muddy's vocals are certainly strong enough, but his performance lacks a bit of enthusiasm here and there. It's not sloppy or weak, it just doesn't sound like he cares all that much.
Muddy Waters was a fine singer even when he wasn't quite firing on all cylinders, but you'll be better off with CDs like "Muddy Waters at Newport" and "Mojo: The Live Collection". This is a good one, but it's not quite great."