Down to the Roots Deep in Muddy Waters
Sunday Spotlight with Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin on his Blues Highway
We’re getting down to the roots deep in Muddy Waters with award-winning guitarist/vocalist Bob Margolin for a crystal clear picture of the man, his music and his vision. Coming off the heels of his new album “My Road,” and receiving two Blues Blast Magazine Awards in 2016 — Best Male Blues Artist and Best Traditional Blues Album for “My Road” – it’s all bright and sunny on this legend’s Blues Highway.
Born in Boston in 1949, Bob Margolin began playing guitar at the age of 15. Influenced by Chuck Berry, he straight away started playing in local rock and blues bands. The legendary Muddy Waters hired him to join his band in 1973, where he stayed put until 1980. Margolin’s incredible journey playing with the legendary bluesman introduced him to the Chicago Blues sound and led him around the world and back — all the while honing his craft and forging a path to his own musical footprint. To learn more you can visit http://bobmargolin.com
Recently, I sat down with the man himself during a break from the Muddy Waters Tribute — performed by The Nighthawks featuring Bob Margolin — at New York City’s Iridium Jazz Club. Here’s what he had to say:
All About Bob: an interview by Abbe Sparks
On his favorite guitar: It’s an old Telecaster. It owns me and demands fidelity. Muddy had one; a 1957 guitar that he painted red. Always wanted one and in 1992, I found one in North Carolina that became mine in 1993.
On Muddy Waters: Muddy Waters influenced a lot of musicians, including me. We do tributes to him, but nobody can really duplicate exactly that magic or – to use, the best word, really for it – that ‘mojo’ that Muddy Waters had.
On the Muddy Waters Tribute at Iridium: I knew him well enough from being in his band and from being around him that I know he would appreciate it that people were carrying on his music and that people love to listen to it more than ever!
On his newest album: ‘My Road’ is my ride through modern challenges, the ironies and lessons of aging, achieving true love, mourning, my band’s distinctive signature sound, a childhood epiphany, my seven years in Muddy Waters’ band, and exploring the darkest sides of life with friends who have been there.” – Bob Margolin from his website’s about page.
On the song Heaven Mississippi and Terry Abrahamson from ‘My Road’ – originally, my good friend Terry Abrahamson wrote this song and asked me to make a demo for B.B. King to record. We realized that B.B. wouldn’t be recording anymore. I loved Terry’s song so I re-wrote it with Terry to make sense for me and it’s on my new album. Sadly, we realized that B.B. might not record again. I loved Terry’s song, so I changed his lyrics to reflect my life and experiences instead of B.B.’s…
When asked about The Rolling Stones new Blues album: it definitely helps to keep the Blues alive and brings back a whole new awareness to their Blues roots and influences and the Blues — just like it did the first time around.
On the Future of the Blues: It’s Bright.
“Bob Margolin is a major part of Blues history…and the generosity with which he shares that history has energized the spirit and legacy of Muddy Waters in ways that I know would make the old man proud and humbled. I’m lucky to have a friend like Bob to share my memories of so many magical times…and even luckier to have the chance to work with him on a few more.” — Terry Abrahamson, lyricist, photographer, director and author of In The Belly of the Blues.
Bob Margolin deserves the Sunday Spotlight as a musician and lyricist that has Socially Sparked our lives as well as a musician keeping the Blues alive. He is the ultimate definition of down to the roots deep in Muddy Waters. Cannot wait to see what Mr. Margolin has in store for us next. – Abbe Sparks is Socially Sparked @sosparkednews