Interviewing Mud Morganfield is a singular and special experience. It in doing so, the interviewer is talking to the beating heart of the Blues. Mud is a great Bluesman, but he also happens to be son of the late and very great Muddy Waters. That makes Mud a Hoochie Coochie Boy, as he says in his song “Blues In My Shoes”.
Mud is currently touring the UK until 15th June and returns later this year. On 14th June, Mud helps launch the Boisdale Blues Festival in Canary Wharf, London, on a night compered by Jools Holland. He also has a new album, Son of the Seventh Son, out and it is, in brief, a real cracker. All Blues fans should make sure to listen to the majestic ballad “Midnight Lover”. The Blues Matters Blogger talked with Mud ahead of his current UK tour
BM Blogger: What is your ambition?
Mud: “To keep the old tradition going, that Pop spent his whole life doing, that my brother is doing. Pop got the mojo and passed it to us.”
BM Blogger: What was the best advice your father gave you?
Mud: “To be classy. Don’t be drunk or on drugs and come out to shows and fall over.”
BM Blogger: Who is your favourite musical artist?
Mud: “I came from a different era from my father. Even though I heard Pop a lot, Barry White is my favourite, being a bit of a romantic myself and I like his gift for singing love songs. I like Al Green and Earth Wind and Fire, and Hall and Oates, I grew up with that sound too.”
BM Blogger: What has been the highlight of your career?
Mud: “I’ve had many, but the biggest is the look on my mothers face when I take her to certain events and make her proud. She’s 81 years old now, a proud parent, and I wish Pop was here too.”
BM Blogger: What advice would you offer your 16 year old self if you could?
Mud: “Well, maybe 16 is a bit young, but to put more effort into my career, into music. I was a drummer, then played bass guitar, but I always knew I had something special. Everything I have I owe it all to my dad and God. Those two set the stage for me.”
BM Blogger: If you could choose one song to duet with your father, which would it be?
Mud: “So many! “The Same Thing” sticks out more than any other, though, its rhythm is fantastic. Maybe that’s an idea for my next album, cover it and swap between my vocals and Pops. I don’t study or copy my dad. My music is no copy, it’s just raw.”
BM Blogger: What do you think of when writing your songs?
Mud: “I love to talk about things people do in life, real experiences. One of the things I loved about Pops was the things he did. I do fun songs like Catfishing and Short Dress Woman, but I like to write songs with a message in them too. I grew up rough in Chicago, there was no silver spoon in my mouth. I had to look after myself, make a statement that I’m a man. Those experiences gave me a bunch of the Blues. If you ain’t lived it, you can’t truly sing it. More than having a good voice, you have to live it to sing it, and to put the pain into your song.” “My song “Blues in my Shoes” is a reflection of things I went through, of me. I’m not sitting still. I’m already writing and preparing for my next album.” “Then take my song “Health”. The message of the song is we only have one life. You don’t take care of yourself, you ain’t got nothing. If you’re on your back you can’t get up, you’re in trouble. The heart only beats so many times. The older we get, we procrastinate more. If my song helps one person its worth every word.”