Date First Published: May 30, 2012, at 4:20 AM – Classic Rock Radio (UK)
Uncle G’s FUN Music Collection
Topic: Paul Rodgers – Muddy Water Blues (1993)
By Gary Brown
American Correspondent for Classic Rock Radio (UK)
I got Paul Rodger’s CD, courtesy of The Law. A band that centered around the talents of Paul Rodgers, and Kenny Jones. Found that CD, the only recording this band did, in just about mint condition, used, at a really cool chain retail place here in Houston called; Half Price Books. Plenty of benefits come with living in a big city. One being the now out-of-print CD I just mentioned was mine, and for the low price of; $3.99…PLUS it was a Memorial Day Weekend sale where everything in the store was twenty percent off. You do the math. Deal of the day.
For those unaware of The Law, this was considered a supergroup. A one-time project for the two musicians’. The results were a solid album by two of classic rock’s biggest players. The biggest hit was a song called “Laying Down The Law” written by Rodgers. Seasoned musicians supporting them included Pino Palladino (Bass).
Kenny Jones, I was, fortunately, able to see with The Who. Details:
The date; September 18, 1979.
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City.
Seats: On the floor. So hot, it felt like I was sweating my nuts off. The Garden was packed. Everyone was on their feet, the whole show. Think sardines in a tin can. Glad I’m six feet tall. At least I was able to see over most of the crowd in front of me.
Jones sat in for the somewhat newly departed from this World, Keith Moon. Imagine how hard that must have been for Kenny. Maybe not physically, but you’d think mentally it could have? Everyone sees him and thinks Moon. Hard not to with the other three larger-than-life rock performers on the same stage with you. Jones did a solid job. If he was nervous stepping into the HUGE shoes of The Who’s iconic drummer, you could not tell from his performance. Any of them, for as long as he was associated with the supergroup. Wish Pete would have been more productive when Jones was in the band. What they did do was legendary. The 1980s was a different scene. I like re-visiting that part of The Who’s history every now and then. Some extra cool performances preserved on DVD you can catch as well. I never tire of watching this era of The Who perform, say for example; Sister Disco. What a cool groove. Included is a classic Roger and Pete moment performing live. When you saw it you knew it was just a magic side by side moment. On Jone’s drum-riser. The singer and the guitar player. Raw yet very powerful. As a fan, it’s awesome to witness. The Who with or without Moon did that often.
Paul Rodgers is undoubtedly one of classic rock’s signature vocalists. In three-quarters of a second, you can recognize his sound. Indeed, it’s very unique. Much like Robert Plant. The best singers America’s Rock N’ Roll’s Hall of Fame in Cleveland has to offer. For the record, neither is from the United States. Yet both singers are heavily influenced by America’s musical roots and its musicians.
I’m a big fan of the producer of this album; Billy Sherwood. He did percussion on the closing track as well. Up to this point in time, Rodger’s Muddy Water Blues is one of my favorite projects that Billy has been involved in. That’s saying a lot. Sherwood’s been doing good work for decades now. One current project is just so cool; Circa: Includes Tony Kaye, original keyboard player for the supergroup Yes. So good to see Tony involved with this.
I saw Circa: live over the Internet this past New Year’s Eve. A very very, unique experience. Being signed on, which also included chat, you were connected with other fans. Had some cool conversations while enjoying the in-concert experience. All in the comfort of my own home. I’ll be sure to let everyone know when the next Cirra live Internet event will be taking place. Am already looking forward to seeing you all there.
I purchased this CD, Paul Rodger’s Muddy Water Blues, based on it being what I call, a YesRelated product. Not only was Billy Sherwood involved, but Trevor Rabin played a mean guitar on the second track of the CD; Louisiana Blues. Instant buy. Whenever any past or present Yes musician did a guest appearance anywhere, it was considered YesRelated. As a serious Yes collector, I would and still do consider buying whatever it is. I have a LOT of CDs that are classified as this.
Not only are Paul’s vocals perfect for this tribute to Waters, but so all the other guest players as well. Rogers is the consistent thing on this CD. He sings on every track. Musicians come and go. Some of the best guitar players in that time frame to appear on a single CD. Check out the scan that accompanies this column. Outstanding performances by all included. And I should also mention that it was nominated for a Grammy Award.
In my possession now, for almost twenty years. Never get bored giving it repeat plays. Rogers did some awesome live shows supporting this CD as well. If you’re just getting into classic rock and were not born or too young to remember this, I’d strongly recommend checking this out. If life was too busy with responsibilities back in ’93 and for any reason, you just missed out, find and grab it. Glad I didn’t miss out. Back then I already a Paul Rodgers fan; Free – Bad Company – The Firm. This dude isn’t just a part of classic rock. He is classic rock. Muddy Waters was the blues. The sexual overtones are aplenty. No one better in my mind comes up any better than Rodgers to help those not forget how much McKinley Morganfield meant to rock n’ roll. Check this out. He helped the true king of rock n’ roll get his first record contract; Chuck Berry. How cool is that!
Bonus – from the Gary “Uncle G” Brown Classic Rock Autograph Collection – Paul Rodgers (thanks to Rich Blatt for securing this for me).