Tag Archives: Hard Again

Day 299: Muddy Waters – Hard Again

24 Dec

Deep Down In Florida

I don’t want to touch that album title.  Hopefully, it’s referring to the hard times that Muddy Waters frequently discusses on this record.  Even if it is, there’s probably a second meaning to it too.  That’s really clever.  Muddy Waters is the stuff of legend, so he can get away with terrible album titles.  Anyway, the title isn’t really what matters—it’s the music that counts.  And Muddy Waters really has some great music.

Hearing a real blues album is usually a strange experience for me.  So much of my favorite music borrows heavily and unashamedly from the genre, that I think I’ve kind of forgotten that this stuff came first. Who knows what Jack White, for example, would be doing if it weren’t for Muddy Waters. Every aspect of this music sounds familiar, from the tinny guitars, to the downtrodden and direct lyrics.

Listening to an album like this really reminds me just how good blues is as genre, which is pretty easy to forget in this era of disposable electronic music.  Sure, some of the guitar sections may be reused, and the lyrical structure/delivery don’t vary all that dramatically, but that’s all excusable because this music has such a cool sound.

Then again, I’m not sure that I could point out a bad blues record if I heard one—they do all kind of sound the same to me.  It took years upon years of close listening before I was able to become the indie rock expert that I am today.  I just don’t have that same skill when it comes to the blues.