Kim Wilson (left) and Mud Morganfield (photo: Sam Holden)
Kim Wilson (left) and Mud Morganfield (photo: Sam Holden)

“For Pops (A Tribute to Muddy Waters),” celebrating the 100th anniversary of the blues legend’s birth, is due Aug. 19 on Severn Records.

The album features ‘Mud’ Morganfield, Waters’ son, and Kim Wilson, singer and award-winning harmonica player for The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

“I couldn’t ignore all the requests,” says David Earl, president of Severn Records.

“After we released Mud Morganfield’s ‘Son of the 7th Son’ album and The Fabulous Thunderbirds ‘On the Verge’ CD, the phone was ringing off the hook and the inbox was flooded with emails.

“The topic was always the same: ‘You have to get Mud and Kim to do an album together!’ So, after all the prodding, I picked up the phone and asked both Mud and Kim if they would like to do an album together. They resoundingly said, ‘Yes!’ ”

Morganfield’s vocals are remarkably similar to his late father’s, and Wilson’s harmonica work is first-rate. Backing the duo is an all-star team of Chicago-style blues players: Billy Flynn and Rusty Zinn (guitars), Barrelhouse Chuck (piano), Steve Gomes (bass) and Robb Stupka (drums). The album was produced by David Earl and Steve Gomes and recorded at Severn Sound Studios in Annapolis, MD.

Earl envisioned an album resembling a late-night jam session. “We began with an old-fashioned ‘house party’ in our studio,” Earl says. “Attendees included friends and family from all over the mid-Atlantic region who were treated to a wonderful performance by Mud and Kim, along with some barbeque and spirits.”

The following day, the musicians recorded live in the studio to capture the sound of the house party.

“All the instruments were recorded together in the same room in order to truly capture the interplay between the musicians,” Earl says. “Mud was isolated so we could put the best possible sound to tape. We spent four days recording and actually mixed it at the end of the week with all the musicians present. It was a whirlwind, but at the end of the day, everyone agreed that ‘Pops’ would be proud.”

“For Pops” includes some of Waters’ best–known tunes, as well as a few lesser-known songs to demonstrate the breadth of his blues repertoire.

“It’s coming up on my Dad’s 100th birthday, and that makes me even more proud to be a part of this great release,” Morganfield says.

Here’s the track listing:

1. Gone to Main Street
2. Just to Be With You
3. I Don’t Know Why
4. I Want You to Love Me
5. Still a Fool
6. My Dog Can’t Bark
7. She’s Got It
8. I Love the Life I Live, I Live the Life I Love
9. Blow Wind Blow
10. Nineteen Years Old
11. I Want to Be Loved
12. Trouble No More
13. I Just Want to Make Love to You
14. She Moves Me

To stream the album’s lead track, “Gone to Main Street,” click here.

For more information, visit the Severn Records website here.

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