Mud Morganfield Set to Bring the Chicago Blues Down To Mumbai This Week
The son of blues legend Muddy Waters says, ‘You don’t get no blues in no school book’
For American bluesman Mud Morganfield, it’s all about keeping his dad’s legacy alive. His father is none other than legendary blues artist Muddy Waters. He says over the phone from his Chicago home, “I think what I do is give people a chance that didn’t see my dad, I kind of give them a glimpse of him through me.”
Indian audiences will have the opportunity to catch that glimpse when Morganfield performs in Mumbai for the first time on November 23rd at the city-based National Centre of Performing Arts. The musician says, “In Chicago, it is cold and snowy. It’s not nice, give me some of that [Mumbai] heat. I’ve been to Russia, Argentina; I’ve been to quite a few places but never to India.” He adds, “This will be my first time and not only me, the band too. We’re all looking so forward to it, just to play some blues.”
Morganfield’s blues can best be heard on his 2012 record Son of a Seventh Son which includes groovy tracks such as “Short Dress Woman” and “Catfishing” as well as melancholic songs including the title track and “Health.” He tells us that the music bug hit him for as long as he can remember as it’s in his genes. He says with a chuckle, “I might have been tapping on my mother’s stomach man.”
Even though Morganfield mentions that music has always been with him, it was only in 2008 that he released his debut album Fall Waters Fall. Ask him why it took him so long and he says, “You know you just can’t claim you’re a blues person, man. Unless you go get some blues [sadness]. That’s the idea of blues. I was getting my blues. You have to go through something; you just can’t say I’m a blues person without going through something.”
Growing up in Chicago’s west side was “pretty rough” according to Morganfield. He explains that his dad, Buddy Guy and all those cats that came before “came from the suffering of the south during slavery time and right after slavery time” and that’s how they got their blues.
Ask Morganfield about one memory of his dad that stands out and he says, “I must have been about 13 or 14 years old and I went to see dad perform and all the people were saying he looks like you. I was very proud to be the son of Muddy Waters at that point,” he says. It is a double-edged sword at times and about being the son of one of the greatest blues musicians ever, Morganfield says, “Absolutely! On one hand, you have people saying okay he sounds like his dad and I know some people who really understood the significance of dad. Some people love it man, it ain’t what they care it’s what I care.”
When we inform Morganfield that India has quite a big blues scene, he’s pleasantly happy about it. What are his thoughts on the current blues scene around the world? He says, “I like em’. I’m not feeling the rock blues. But I guess there’s a place for everything. But I think you should keep it simple man.” Morganfield adds, “Rock is rock, blues is blues, jazz is jazz, contemporary is contemporary, R&B is R&B. You need to keep blues in its category.”
Morganfield’s Mumbai gig is going to include a mixture of his own material as well as some of his dad’s songs. Next, the musician tells us he is working on a new album which he hopes to put out soon. He says, “I’m going to try and work as much as I can as long as I can. I’m up in age now. I’m not one foot in the grave one foot out yet. But I got a lot of things I need to do man. I need to leave something behind so that when they open up the book of Muddy Waters they can say, ‘Hey his son, he’s okay too’ and that’s my goal.”
Click here to buy tickets for Mud Morganfield’s show at the NCPA in Mumbai on November 23rd.