Q - 10/96, p.1693 Stars (out of 5)
- "Basically the band that backed Muddy between '74-'80...although there's an equally impressive guest roster....Bob Margolin repeatedly impresses by harnessing the electricity of Muddy's flashing side."
The Muddy Waters Tribute Band: "Steady Rollin'" Bob Margolin (vocals, slide guitar, guitar, bass); Luther "Guitar Jr." Johnson (vocals, guitar); Joe Willie "Pinetop" Perkins (vocals, piano); Calvin "Fuzz" Jones (vocals, bass); Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (vocals, drums); Jerry Portnoy (harmonica).
Additional personnel: Buddy Guy (vocals, guitar); Junior Wells, James Cotton (vocals, harmonica); Koko Taylor, Peter Wolf, Gregg Allman, Levon Helm (vocals); Sonny Landreth (slide guitar); Billy Branch (harmonica).
Engineers: Jay Newland, Bud Snyder (track 1); Jay Newland (tracks 2-4, 7-10, 12); Jay Newland, Brian Kincaid (tracks 5, 13); Jay Newland, Aaron Hurwitz (track 6); Jay Newland, Tony Daigle (track 11); Jay Newland, Paul Q. Kolderie (track 14).
Recorded between December 16, 1994 and September 20, 1995. Includes liner notes by Frank-John Hadley.
YOU'RE GONNA MISS ME (WHEN I'M DEAD & GONE) was nominated for a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album.
This tribute album breaks no new ground but does a superb job of re-creating the Chicago ensemble sound, as well as the songs, of the latter-day Muddy Waters Band. That comes as no surprise, since the core group here literally was Muddy Waters' backup unit from 1974 to 1980: Bob Margolin and Luther "Guitar Jr" Johnson on guitars, Pinetop Perkins on piano, Jerry Portnoy on harp, Calvin Jones on bass, and Willie Smith on drums. Each of these Muddy alumni takes a vocal turn (Margolin takes two). While none of them matches the majesty of Muddy's voice, they certainly have the spirit of the thing down pat. A welcome note of variety is provided by the guest vocalists from the blues and rock world, who also stay very close to the Muddy Waters originals they cover: Greg Allman on "Trouble No More," Buddy Guy on "Clouds in My Heart," Levon Helm on "Going to Main Street," James Cotton (another ex-Muddy bandmate) on "Blow Wind Blow," Koko Taylor on "Mean Mistreater," and Peter Wolf on "Walking Through the Park." ~ Steve Hoffman