One of the best recordings in Chess Records' 50th Anniverary series is the first of two bookend Muddy Waters collections, His Best 1947-55. Documenting Waters's most creatively and commercially successful years at Aristocrat/Chess, this collection begins with his formative years and ends with Waters at his peak. So you're in for a lot of terrific bottleneck slide guitar work as well as electric Chicago blues; what's to criticize? Superb remasterings of "I Can't Be Satisfied", "Rollin' and Tumblin'," "I'm Ready", and "Mannish Boy" are simply beyond reproach. With simple bass accompaniment from Ernest "Big" Crawford, Waters's bottleneck tracks are spare, haunting and, quite frankly, perfect country blues. And listening to Waters, Little Walter, Willie Dixon, and Jimmy Rogers piece together (and perfect very quickly) the classic Chicago sound is pure blues epiphany. At the very least, this collection shows you why Waters's rollicking stop-time classics like "Mannish Boy" and "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man" have sparked endless imitations over the years–and why nobody has played them better since.
Hundred Seventy Split are a Blues rock power trio featuring Leo Lyons bassist and founding member of Ten Years After, guitarist /vocalist Joe Gooch and drummer Damon Sawyer. The new Hundred Seventy Split Studio-Album has 11 fantastic tracks that will also be performed live on their forthcoming Tour in November. Joe Gooch, Leo Lyons and Damon Sawyer deliver their 3rd studio album full of energetic Bluesrock.
Waters' The Real Folk Blues and More Real Folk Blues, combined here onto one CD, were not exactly random collections of tracks – the quality was too consistently high for them to just have been picked out of a hat. Still, it was a pretty arbitrary grouping of items that he recorded between 1947 and 1964. In fact, they hail from throughout his whole stint at Chess, virtually; at the time these albums were first issued, though, all of the material on More Real Folk Blues was from the late '40s and early '50s. They didn't exactly concentrate on his most well-known songs, but they didn't entirely neglect them either, including "Mannish Boy," "Walking Thru the Park," "The Same Thing," "Rollin' & Tumblin' Part One," "She's Alright," and "Honey Bee," amongst somewhat more obscure selections. So ultimately, this disc's usefulness depends on your fussiness as a collector – if it's the only Waters you ever pick up, you'll still have a good idea of his greatness, and if you don't mind getting some tracks you might already have on more avowedly best-of sets, you'll probably hear some stuff you don't already have in your collection.
Pioneering progressive rock group Beggars Opera from Glasgow released several splendid albums for the Vertigo label in the early Seventies. The line up included vocalist Martin Griffiths, guitarist Ricky Gardiner and keyboard player Alan Park, who ensured a strong classical influence. ‘Waters Of Change’ was the group’s second effort, first released in 1971. It follows the pattern set by debut album ‘Act One’, and features highlight tracks ‘Time Machine’, ‘Silver Peacock’ and ‘The Fox’, given greater depth by the addition of Mellotron player Virginia Scott.
Norway's WATERS make dynamic, '90s grunge and alt-rock-influenced pop music. Centered on singer/songwriter Van Pierszalowski, WATERS came together in Oslo in 2011 after Pierszalowski's previous band, Port O'Brien, broke up. The group's debut album, "Out in the Light", appeared on TBD Records in 2011. Eventually, Pierszalowski relocated to San Francisco, where he put together a new WATERS lineup featuring guitarist Brian DaMert, keyboardist Sara DaMert, bassist Greg Sellin, and drummer Andrew Wales. Taking inspiration from the quiet/loud approach of such bands as the Pixies and Nirvana, WATERS returned with their follow-up EP, "It All Might Be OK", featuring production from Grouplove's Ryan Rabin. WATERS' sophomore full-length album, "What's Real", was released in 2015 on Vagrant Records. They have just announced their 3rd LP, "Something More!", will be released in May of 2017.