Written By Braddon S. Williams
Muddy Waters: Hard Again
Muddy Waters gets my personal vote for the best male vocals ever in blues music.
His “comeback” album Hard Again (1977) leads off with a version of Mannish Boy that sounds like it was recorded live in the studio, complete with producer Johnny Winter contributing guitar and his unmistakable roared “Yeah” as perfect punctuation for Muddy’s authoritative proclamations of his undisputed manliness.
Occasionally one will hear music that translates the joy and love that went into its creation directly to the listener’s soul.
Hard Again is such an album.
The pure enthusiasm that radiates from every syllable uttered by the blues legend is beyond dispute, and it is contagious to all the participating musicians.
Hard Again pops and sizzles in its fathomless and timeless grooves.
Indeed, as one perfectly named song states,
The Blues Had A Baby And They Named It Rock And Roll, Pt. 2…kind of says it all. Other classics include I Can’t Be Satisfied, Deep Down In Florida, Jealous Hearted Man, Cross Eyed Cat, and I Just Want To Be Loved, but it is the towering Mannish Boy that never fades in its glorious power, a testimony to the gigantic legacy of Muddy Waters.