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|Muddy It Is
10 October 2007
The readers of Blues-Finland.com have voted McKinley Morganfield, better known as Muddy Waters, the favourite blues artist of all time. In the final of a two-round vote, Waters beat another true legend - Howlin' Wolf.
In a poll arranged to celebrate the first Anniversary of Blues-Finland.com, Muddy Waters has been voted the favourite blues artist of all time. Since no candidate reached an absolute majority in the first round of the vote, another one was launched between the two most popular names, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. Waters turned out the favourite with 65 per cent of the vote.
The first round results were as follows:
1. Muddy Waters 14,5 %
2. Howlin' Wolf 10,9 %
3. B.B. King 10,1 %
4. Robert Johnson 8,7 %
5. Stevie Ray Vaughan 8,0 %
Other candidates combined 47,8 %
|View Muddy doing "Mannish Boy", probably his best-known song, live in 1978.|
|Just about 500 blues enthusiasts cast their vote in the poll. The luckiest ones were rewarded with tics to Finnish artist Erja Lyytinen's concert in Helsinki and with Blues-Finland.com T-shirts with the slogan "The Thrill Isn't Gone". Blues-Finland.com will celebrate Muddy's victory with a series of expert analyses.
Here are some comments the voters gave on their favourites.
Muddy Waters: A man with a soul and a heart of blue … Muddy was one hell of a pioneer in Chicago! … Muddy had his share of idols and colleagues. But his influence on e.g. contemporary white Englishmen was huge … muddy waters have been the cornerstones of electric blues.
Howlin' Wolf: The name tells everything the man was about … Wolf was raw and sensitive at the same time, building a strong base for the whole genre of the blues … The voice!
B.B. King: Blues and rock. Soul and beat. Hair-raising feel. Goosebumps. Blue rooms of the soul, thriving sounds … Positive, not a dismal blues man. Has brought the blues to a wider audience, still going strong, one of the last big names.
Robert Johnson: Maybe not the best guitarist of all time, but he knew everything about the blues! … Poor blues king of his time … Dead at 27, poisoned by a jealous husband – no other options!
John Lee Hooker: "The Endless Boogie Man", maybe not the most significant blues artist of all time, but he is a true embodiment of the blues.
Stevie Ray Vaughan: Nowadays it is annoying that the majority of blues bands (try to) sound like SRV, but it is not the man's fault, is it? … Golden touch on the guitar, master of nuances.
Albert King: "Born Under the Bad Sign", "As the Years Go Passing by", "Crosscut Saw" – any more arguments needed? … The gigs in Helsinki proved years ago that A. King is the Blues King!
Lonnie Johnson: Played and sang the blues in a beautiful and original manner … Influenced his contemporaries and newcomers. Outstanding singer, guitarist, songwriter till his death. Popularised the single string technique in the 20's, paved the way for "guitar solo heroes". In my opinion, the all-time best guitar duets were recorded by Lonnie and Eddie Lang in the late 20's. "Handful of Riffs" – unbelievable tune, no one has been able to copy it to this day.
Otis Rush: Especially the Cobra recordings of the 50's hit like a knee in the eye, sidemen include other great blues names, too.
Tampa Red: Long career, versatile playing. His songs covered nearly all areas of the blues. His influence on others was huge.
T-Bone Walker: Great showman, did what he wanted with the guitar!
Ruth Brown: Helped the women make the top of the R&B charts, paved the way for all female R&R singers, helped Atlantic to become the leading label in R&B.
Billie Holiday: "Lady Day" was not only a blues singer, she could also interpret jazz in her own, unique way.
Son House: The true master of simple, extreme and emotional rawness. Together with Patton and Brown, set the standards to the blues as we know it.
Memphis Slim: Even before B.B. King, showed that a blues man does not have to be poor and miserable to be the real thing.
Peter Green: Fine and immortal blues songs, fine singing and guitar-playing.
R.L. Burnside: He never gave up. He did music for the sake of music, did not spoil it for economic reasons.
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