It would be all too easy to write off Mud Morganfield as the lingering ghost of his father, legendary blues musician Muddy Waters.
Sure, Morganfield looks strikingly identical to the father of Chicago blues under the lights of the Norwich Arts Centre. Sure, his set is littered with covers of Waters’ classics, the likes of She’s Got It and the endlessly enjoyable Got My Mojo Working. But the truth is talking of him in only these terms would be a disservice; the Seventh Son deserves to be reviewed on his own merit.
He certainly exists to do more than just, as he so humbly believes, “prolong his father’s legacy.” If anything is so abundantly clear, it’s that he is not merely making a living off that legacy. Rather, his references to the great man radiate from a place of heartfelt sincerity, painting an image of a love and respect decades old.
Detached from all the family history, Morganfield is a class act: dapper in a black suit and red tie. He is charismatic, an entertainer. At one point he comes down from the stage to jive with the audience. “I shouldn’t be doing this with bones as old as mine” he jokes, “but the music just takes me.”
The set is comprised of a spectrum of blues music, from basement blues to jauntier, higher-tempo tracks, the majority coming to a halt through a familiar crescendo. Almost every song is anecdotal (a feature of blues music that makes the genre so entertaining). Like a narrator of a folktale, Morganfield introduces many with a personalised prologue.
Behind his showmanship is an incredibly talented band, each member showcasing their flair through a variety of solos on their respected instruments, whether guitar, harmonica or double bass. On this evening, in this wonderful atmosphere, there’s no pretense. It’s just a couple of guys that love to play music, hell bent on having fun.
Perfect for both the novices and journeymen of blues, Mud Morganfield and his band provide a thoroughly energetic, toe-tapping, evening for all. If he’s up there watching, Muddy would be proud.