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Big Bill Morganfield Link:

Big Bill Morganfield

Big Bill Morganfield
Ramblin Mind
2001, Blind Pig

Bill learned his Daddy's lesson well. Surround yourself with the best, play the bejesus out of your axe and growl them blues. Bill's got it right on all accounts, even to visits from some very familiar names like Pinetop Perkins, Billy Branch, Taj Mahal, Bob Margolin and Paul Oscher. Morganfield has widened the envelope and cut a real keeper. Far more interesting and diverse that his first, "Rising Son," Big Bill is cutting a figure for himself. He takes Chicago on and also goes beyond. His band is straight out of the windy city, but the feel is everywhere. Opening "Mellow Chick Swing" is a pure 40s swanger with huge harp, Bill's baritone cream and Mr. B's sublime piano. Taj's plinky National, throaty Howlin' Wolf vocals and low slide à la Morganfield reeks atmosphere. The family pipes resound with jowly deep growls and Bill's axe is a razor sharp, finely tuned instrument that drives it on home. Some of my favorites are the acoustic "Ramblin' Mind," James Lane's Westside styled "Trace of You," the Willie Dixon inspired "Dirty Dealin' Mama" with Piney's cooking ivory and Oscher's mouth organ, 50s rocker "Little Angel" and the slide-Taj closer, "You're Gonna Miss." You know where Bill came from and that's good. See where he's going. The family groove is safe in his hands.—Mark Gresser

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