Sunday, June 19, 2011

Muddy Zimmerman and Robert Morganfield

I think of Dylan as one of America's great bluesmen.  Here he is, interviewed about nterviewed about his new record...

Q:  A lot of this album feels like a Chess record from the fifties. Did you have that sound in your head going in or did it come up as you played?

A:  Well some of the things do have that feel. It’s mostly in the way the instruments were played.

Q:  You like that sound?

A:  Oh yeah, very much so. . "

Likes it enough, in fact, to recreate the sound almost verbatim-- but with David Hidalgo's accordian subbing for Little Walter's harp:  Here's "My Wife's Hometown," done like Muddy's version of Willie Dixon's "I Just Want To Make Love To You."  (Dixon gets writing credit for the song on Dylan's CD.)

And here's where it came from:

Dylan also did his own twist on Rollin' and Tumblin'-- one of the first songs recorded by Muddy Waters on Chess Records.  Here's Muddy's:

And here's Bob Dylan's version from "Modern Times."

(Lest you think Bobby is a simple thief, remember that Muddy used to play exactly like Robert Johnson, and Chuck Berry took the opening lick of Roll Over Beethoven and Johnny B. Goode from Carl Hogan and Louis Jordan.  It's the way it works!)

And, since this is a Chuck Berry blog, I'll requote from the May 14, 2009 issue of Rolling Stone :

"A friendship has developed between Dylan and Berry over the years. "Chuck said to me, 'By God, I hope you live to be 100, and I hope I live forever,'" Dylan says with a laugh. "He said that to me a couple of years ago. In my universe, Chuck is irreplaceable... All that brilliance is still there, and he's still a force of nature. As long as Chuck Berry's around, everything 's as it should be. This is a man who has been through it all. The world treated him so nasty. But in the end, it was the world that got beat."

Rolling Stone 1078 May 14, 2009.  (Here's to friendship!)

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