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Lucas Weismann

The Blues Dance Project – Unit 1 – Week 1 – Featured Artist: Muddy Waters

Right now I’m traveling the world teaching Blues Dancing and have to good fortune to be staying in the Malmö, Kobenhavn, Helsingborg region of Sweden and Denmark.  This luxury is allowing me to offer blues dance classes in three cities simultaneously and to focus more deeply on material than I would otherwise be able to do while on tour.

While traveling, I hit upon the idea of incorporating some of the history and lives of the musicians we use in class into the material.  That way not only are the students becoming better at dancing the blues, they’re also becoming more educated about the blues itself.  As things progress through the classes, I’ll probably be able to get more detailed with musician, their lives and their contributions to musical history.  At the moment though, I’ll content myself with hitting some of the bullet points and possibly one or two anecdotes, as well as some of their greatest hits.  If you’re in southern Scandanavia, and wish to participate in these projects, feel free to join us at any of the following venues:

  • Mondays:  Christianshavn Boeborhus, Copenhagen, Denmark – 7:30PM
  • Tuesdays: Tangokompaniet, Malmo, Sweden – 6:30PM
  • Wednesday: Stampus at Villan, Helsingborg, Sweden – 7:30PM

Muddy Waters

Featured artist:  Muddy Waters summed up in an oversimplified bullet list.

  • Hugely influential blues musician – bridged the gap between Delta Blues and Rock ‘N’ Roll.
  • Ba-da ba-da-ba riff accounts for multiple songs in his repertoire
  • got chuck barry his first record contract
  • Rolling Stones named themselves after his song Rollin’ Stone
  • Brought electric blues to Europe for the first time.
  • Delta Blues Electrified and amplified using a microphone, made it hard to copy well too.
  • Famous rival

 

What is their most iconic song/musical tell:

  • Mannish Boy – Covered by – (as I’m a woman)
  • I’m Ready – Covered by –
  • I just want to make Love to you – Covered by – Etta James
  • Rollin’ Stone (Catfish Blues) – Covered by – Rolling Stones and Hendrix
  • You Shook Me – Covered by Zepplin with Muddy Waters Vocals

 

Where/When:

  • Born in Mississippi (maybe 1915)
  • Moved to Chicago (1940)
  • Moved to London (1958)
  • Died (1983)

There are books that could (and are) written about the McKinley Morganfield (Muddy Waters).  This is not anywhere near comprehensive, but the main point is this.  The man played well and had a way with words.  He made an indelible stamp on the world of blues with a truly unique sound.  Also, his real name was just as good for being a blues man as his nickname.  Bastard.

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