Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones – Live at the Checkerboard Lounge
The Rolling Stones – Live at the Checkerboard Lounge (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Genre – Rock / blues
In 1981 The Rolling Stones travelled to Chicago, the home of blues and joined Muddy Waters on stage at the legendary Checkerboard Lounge. The performance, in L.C. Thurman and Buddy Guy’s club, was recorded on the night, and the iconic performance is set to raise its head once again with a re-release of the album.
First and foremost, this album is a must for rock fans. This is where rock and roll began. You can do all the reading you want, and it will point you in the direction of these artists. When Jagger and Richards met, they famously bonded over their love of black American blues music, particularly Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters.
20 years on, the pair are on stage with their hero, playing some of the greatest songs ever written and showing why they are up there with the greatest artists to ever grace the planet. Following introductions, the legendary bluesman launches straight into You Don’t Have To Go, with his exquisite playing style booming through the speakers, with his smoky vocals looming over the top in typically characteristic style.
Next up is Baby Please Don’t Go, and this is where it really gets interesting. This 11 minute sees waters deliver a masterclass in slide guitar, a harmonica tutorial and a stunning vocal performance that is matched by Mick Jagger.
As Keith Richards joins the party, Muddy and The Stones roll through phenomenal renditions of Hoochie Coochie Man, Got My Mojo Workin’, One Eyed Woman and Champaigne and Reefer.
With so many sounds on offer throughout this beautiful blues album, you can’t help but float off and dream of dark, smoky, whiskey soaked blues clubs, with slide guitars screaming from the speakers. This album is crystal clear in its production, which comes as no surprise as every Stones’ live album carries this style.
Live at The Checkerboard Club is one of those rare album that you pick up and listen to over and over again. Muddy Waters’ performance is a classy as you’d expect, and both Jagger and Richards deliver performances to match. Dive in head first. This is as close to musical perfection as you’ll hear. Fantastic.
RUSHONROCK RATED 10/10 When gods collide…
Northumbria University Journalism graduate, rock and roll enthusiast and co-editor of RUSHONROCK.com.