This tribute album breaks no new ground but does a superb job of re-creating the Chicago ensemble sound, as well as the songs, of the latter-day Muddy Waters Band. That comes as no surprise, since the core group here literally was Muddy Waters' backup unit from 1974 to 1980: Bob Margolin and Luther "Guitar Jr" Johnson on guitars, Pinetop Perkins on piano, Jerry Portnoy on harp, Calvin Jones on bass, and Willie Smith on drums. Each of these Muddy alumni takes a vocal turn (Margolin takes two). While none of them matches the majesty of Muddy's voice, they certainly have the spirit of the thing down pat. A welcome note of variety is provided by the guest vocalists from the blues and rock world, who also stay very close to the Muddy Waters originals they cover: Greg Allman on "Trouble No More," Buddy Guy on "Clouds in My Heart," Levon Helm on "Going to Main Street," James Cotton (another ex-Muddy bandmate) on "Blow Wind Blow," Koko Taylor on "Mean Mistreater," and Peter Wolf on "Walking Through the Park."
Amazing sounds from the Swedish scene of the 60s - a record that's archly modern, yet soaringly soulful too - a really wonderful combination of modes in the hands of pianist Berndt Egerbladh! The title's a bit strange - as Berndt's hardly the kind of guy that would make us laugh, and he definitely has our ears right away from the very first notes on the record - a brilliant blend of his own piano, plus alto from Lars Goran Ulander, bass from Lars Gunnar Gunnarsson, and drums from Sten Oberg! The alto is especially nice - very sharp-edged and soulful on the tracks in which it figures - and helping to give the record and even deeper feel than some of Egerbladh's other albums - even though we like those a lot too. Tracks are all originals - beautiful compositions that make the album sparkle with a freshness you'll appreciate instantly.