Muddy Waters Tribute Band
Pinetop Perkins (piano, vocals), a former sidekick of Sonny Boy Williamson on the legendary late 1940s King Biscuit Boy radio show, replaced Otis Spann as Waters' pianist in 1968 and contributed to the "Muddy Waters sound" in the studio and on band trips to Africa, Australia, Japan and Europe until 1980. He co-founded the Legendary Blues Band soon after leaving Muddy's employment and has recorded with Robert Nighthawk, Earl Hooker, Johnny Winters and many others.
Luther "Guitar Jr." Johnson (guitar, vocals), born in Mississippi and schooled in blues on Chicago's West Side (where he befriended Magic Sam and other notables), was a mainstay of the Muddy Waters Band in the 1970s. He has since toured the globe with his band, The Magic Rockers. His latest release, Slammin' on the West Side (CD-83389), is his debut album on Telarc.
Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (drums, vocals), an Arkansas native, belongs to the list of impressive drummers who supported Muddy Waters. Starting in the early 1960s, he joined the Waters band for almost two decades, including several years alongside Calvin Jones and Pinetop Perkins in the rhythm section. After serving Waters, he joined the Legendary Blues Band, the spinoff band from Waters' that early on had him in the company of Calvin Jones, Pinetop Perkins and Jerry Portnoy.
Calvin "Fuzz" Jones (bass, vocals), from Mississippi, turned up as a regular with Waters from the mid-1960s through the 1970s. Some of the albums he appears on are Muddy's Live (At Mr. Kelly's) and Can't Get No Grindin' and Luther Johnson's Luther's Blues. His credits also include work with Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter and The Legendary Blues Band.
Jerry Portnoy (harmonica, vocals) is a virtuoso musician who played a significant role in the Muddy Waters Band of the 1974-79 period. Originally schooled in electric blues as a young harmonicat working in Chicago with guitarist Johnny Littlejohn and drummer Sam Lay, he left Waters to help found the Legendary Blues Band at the start of the 1980s. In recent years, Portnoy has led his own band called The Streamliners and supplied hot or lyrical licks to acclaimed groups fronted by guitarslingers Ronnie Earl and Eric Clapton respectively.
"Steady Rollin'" Bob Margolin (guitar, vocals), a Boston native first schooled in the vintage Chicago blues style by the late Luther "Snake" Johnson, is another fine Muddy Waters sideman from the 1970s. His seven years with Waters found him contributing to nine albums as well as making countless performances and appearing in Martin Scorsese's 1978 film The Last Waltz. A feature solo artist since 1980, Margolin is a fixture on the international blues club and festival circuit.