Blues Royalty - Big Bill Morganfield
Spotlight with Big Bill Morganfield
Singer/songwriter Big Bill Morganfield is many things but foremost he’s a loving son and grandson who sings his Blues away to heal and remember his mom in his new song When You Lose Someone You Love Bloodstains On The Wall (Black Shuck Records).
The middle son of Blues legend Muddy Waters, Morganfield attributes the impetus behind his success to his late mother and grandmother. Of course, credit also goes to his famous father and his Blues gene. We caught up with the younger Bluesman to get the inside story for Socially Sparked News Spotlight.
Spotlight with Big Bill Morganfield
Big Bill Morganfield tells us about his deep rooted love for his mother and grandmother; his father’s influence on his career and the inspiration behind his latest hit song When You Lose Someone You Love.
“Every son loves his mother. The kind of love that never ends” – Bill Morganfield, Singer/Songwriter and Blues Guitarist
Socially Sparked News: Tell us about the two women in your life that you credit as your inspiration.
Morganfield: Well to begin with, I wouldn’t have been on the planet if my mother had not carried me for nine months. She gave me a life. To go a little deeper, every son loves his mother. The kind of love that never ends.
Socially Sparked News: You credit your grandmother for shaping your path. Can you elaborate?
Morganfield: My grandmother must be given credit for raising me from six months old until I became a man. She was there for me to pick me up when I was down…to steer right when I went left, and to kick my ass when my head got too hard to listen to what I was told to do. My love for her lives on today in my heart and my spirit and my soul.
Socially Sparked News: Can you tell us more about the impact your grandmother has had on your life.
Morganfield: If you want to know what kind of woman she was just look at the kind of man I am. I am a direct reflection of the woman that she was.
Socially Sparked News: You write and sing beautiful, deeply passionate and soulful lyrics. As the son of the great Muddy Waters, do you attribute this to your dad?
Morganfield: My grandmother and my mother both wanted me to do what my heart desired. And ever since I can remember — like every son that’s proud of his father — I wanted to be just like him. Of course, when God made his frame he threw it away. He only made one McKinley Morganfield or as the world knows him best, the legendary Blues guitarist/vocalist Muddy Waters.
Socially Sparked News: How deeply did your mom’s death affect you?
Morganfield: That’s a pretty simple question. You letting me off a little bit easy on this one. But to answer your question, the pain I felt from losing my mother was the worst pain that I ever felt in my life.
Socially Sparked News: How much of an influence did your mom’s death have on your songwriting?
Morganfield: She was such an inspiration and my biggest fan. She would come to every one of my shows at Blind Willies in Atlanta. She would always tell me, “this is your time now, Bill.” My grandmother didn’t get to see me as a successful bluesman, but she did see me graduate college and that made her proud. My grandmother passed away three months before my father did.
“I play real blues. Nothing but real blues and I play it with my heart, my soul and a little bit of Mud grease.” — Big Bill Morganfield
Socially Sparked News: Tell us about the lyrics of your latest hit song, When You Lose Someone You Love.
Morganfield: My mom passed in 2015. The words in When You Lose Someone You Love are deeply rooted in my soul. They came from a spiritual source and led me to what I wanted to say. And when I started playing my Gibson 347 it just began to speak like a human voice. Bob Margolin (legendary guitarist who played in Muddy Waters band) once told me, ‘that is what my daddy could do with his guitar.’ When I started to play the slide it just weeped like tears of a broken heart.Socially Sparked News: Speaking of Bob Margolin — a legendary guitarist in his own right — he plays on your new release, right?
Morganfield: Yes. Bob is one of several featured artists on the release.
Socially Sparked News: What do you want people to think from hearing this tune in your mom’s memory?
“I hope When We Lose Someone We Love will serve as a universal tribute theme for Mother’s Day, honoring all the mothers, grandmothers and women who we love.” — Big Bill Morganfield
Morganfield: This song is very personal, stirring up my deepest emotions. Through my music, I want to touch others’ lives. I hope When We Lose Someone We Love will serve as a universal tribute theme for Mother’s Day, honoring all the mothers, grandmothers and women who we love.
Socially Sparked News: Lastly, where do you see the future of the Blues?
Morganfield: “I believe crossover efforts like the songs I wrote for the FOX TV show, ‘Shots Fired’ are what it will take for the blues to retain, or more realistically, reclaim its identity as American black music.
“I’ve always said that the blues should evolve. And it has; sometimes it’s gone too far, and some people don’t like it, but all things evolve.” — Big Bill Morganfield
You can catch Morganfield and his brand of Blues music as a featured act at the Chicago Blues Festival in Millennium Park on Saturday, June 10th, 2-3 pm. And on June 17th in Los Angeles, he will headline a brand new Muddy Waters West Coast Festival at the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center.
Yes, Big Bill Morganfield is many things. The multi-award winner is a producer, singer/songwriter, recording artist, publisher, philanthropist and entrepreneur. Bloodstains On The Wall has been #1 on the Roots Music Report (electric blues) chart for four consecutive weeks and, on the top of the Living Blues Charts since its February release. Three of his songs off the new release were recently featured on Fox TV’s Shots Fired. — Abbe is SociallySparked! @sosparkednews @asparks01
For more features on the Blues and the artists see Socially Sparked News Entertainment-Music; and for Sparks’ 2015 story on Bill Morganfield tributing his famous dad: The Blues Comes To The Home of Jazz-Lincoln Center