Saturday, June 11, 2011
Yesterday was the birthday of Howlin’ Wolf (1910-1976), one of the two giants (the other being Muddy Waters) who brought the blues out of its acoustic roots in the Mississippi Delta and electrified it in Chicago (for an excellent film on the Chicago blues scene, see "Cadillac Records"). Physically imposing and with a gruff voice, Wolf, a singer, guitarist and harmonica player, brought a more menacing edge to his music than Muddy. Above Wolf performs one of the blues standards he popularized, “Smokestack Lightning," in England in 1964. He's joined by acclaimed blues artists Willie Dixon on bass and Hubert Sumlin on guitar. To hear to a birthday tribute to Howlin’ Wolf, listen to St. James Infirmary, hosted by my friend Dr. Michael Mand. Click on the June 10, 2011 show, second half.
Post dedicated to the memory of Hal Goldman (1954-2010), Howlin’ Wolf fan extraordinaire and dear friend.