Archive for April, 2009

15th April
written by Matt The Cat

Muddy Waters – Authorized Bootleg: Live at the Fillmore Auditorium – San Francisco Nov 04-06, 1966

While the other major labels have all but abandoned releasing new back catalog titles, Universal Music continues to surprise with new releases of old music that surpass general expectations. Recently, I was shocked that Universal would even consider releasing a five CD box set of Little Walter’s historic Chess Recordings, but it appears that the label knows what they have and they’re not afraid to reissue it. Good news for blues fans, indeed.

Their latest blues release comes out on Universal’s Geffen imprint and features a slew of incredible concerts from the “King Of Chicago Blues”, Muddy Waters. These shows were recorded at Billy Graham’s Fillmore West Auditorium in San Francisco from November 4 th – 6 th , 1966 and they find the 51 year old Muddy in top form. Since many of these songs are repeated several times over the course of the three-night stand and many of them also feature drawn out jams with Muddy’s incredible band, I would not recommend this album to the casual Muddy Waters fan. However, if you’re like me and consider any live recording by one of America ‘s great bluesmen that was recorded before 1970 to be like finding buried treasure, then this is the live Muddy album for you.

The set begins with a nice, heavy groove in the form of “Forty Days And Forty Nights”, then moves into the signature “(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man”. His band features George Smith blowin’ a mean harp and Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson offering up some tasty licks. When I interviewed Luther Johnson in 1996, we talked about his time playing in Muddy Waters’ band. He shared a story about how he used to watch the bald spot move on the back of Muddy’s head whenever he played “Rock Me”. I, of course, could think of nothing but that story as I listened to the two great versions of “Rock Me” included on this live set. The band is rounded out with Sammy Lawhorn on guitar, Mac Arnold on bass and Francis Clay on drums. The band sounds loose and relaxed, but they never miss a beat. If it’s possible for a band to be both loose and tight at the same time, then these guys have got their bases covered. Their eight minute jam on “She Moves Me” from the November 5 th date will blow your mind.

Muddy sounds powerful, playful and full of life and seeing that he’s actually 19 years into his career at this point, it’s not that surprising. All these versions of his classic songs from “Baby Please Don’t Go” to “Honey Bee” to “Long Distance Call” are great, but the feel is very much the same on this entire disc. That’s completely understandable since the surroundings and musicians didn’t change at all over these three live dates. However, I found that it was better to break up listening to this CD with other cuts, as it does tend to drag a little bit from song to song.

Think of “Authorized Bootleg” as a historical document of what it would have been like to hear the great Muddy Waters at the top of his game, but at the end of his golden period. There would be other high points in the future, but this CD will now stand as one of Muddy’s greatest live performances.

You can find this CD at and other fine retailers.


3rd April
written by Matt The Cat
The Annual

Baseball Show

This year, my annual Baseball Show makes it to the web in the form of a Friday Night Cat Fight. I’ve extended the show this year to include almost every cool baseball song in history, spanning many genres. Plus, I’ve added some great historical footage and interviews to make this week’s Cat Fight a must for any fan of Baseball or American History in general. This Cat Fight Show will air for the next 2 weeks, so vote early and vote often over the tune, “Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball”. Buddy Johnson’s swinging band will be taking on the great Count Basie. Enjoy the show, VOTE and get out there and PLAY BALL!

Friday Night Cat Fight On The Web!

3rd April
written by Matt The Cat
The Tams Are Victors

“What Kind Of Fool Do You Think I Am “

The Tams : 80 Votes

Bill Deal & The Rhondels : 25 Votes

Bill Deal & The Rhondels livened up the pace a little and added some hot horns, BUT the Prowlers preferred the original of “What Kind Of Fool” by The Tams. The original versions seemed to have the edge most of the time here on the Friday Night Cat Fight.