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Published On: Tue, Nov 6th, 2012

Muddy Waters & Rolling Stones: Live at The Checkerboard Lounge Chicago 1981

Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones
Live at the Checkerboard Lounge Chicago, 1981
(Eagle Rock Entertainment)

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The classic performance of blues legend Muddy Waters with the Rolling Stones back at Muddy’s Checkerboard Lounge on November 22, 1981 has been a must-have bootleg for years. But the famed show was finally released as an album as well as a DVD this past summer.  The Stones had a day off in Chicago during their tour and stopped in to see Muddy who eventually called Mick, Keith, Ron, and the Stones’ touring piano player Ian Stewart up on stage to play along on classics such as “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “Mannish Boy,” and “Got My Mojo Working.”

Even in the last years of his life Muddy could still take it home. The show also features appearances from a who’s who of blues history with Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and Lefty Dizz as if the Stones weren’t enough. The album contains 11 tracks beginning with an introduction and some of the interactions on stage in between songs and it ends appropriately with “Champagne & Reefer,” a tune  that the Stones frequently cover.  The show might be more interesting historically than amazing musically, but it’s still a pretty impressive performance that’s fun to listen to thanks to Muddy’s improvisation and character on stage.  It’s great to hear the sound improved and re-mastered from the bootleg versions. This is a no-brainer, must-have for fan of the blues or of The Rolling Stones.

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Muddy Waters & Rolling Stones: Live at The Checkerboard Lounge Chicago 1981