"This is Big Bill Morganfield's first album, but you will find a fully developed natural talent, originality, personal style, powerful songwriting and performance. Here are the blues of a man with legendary roots and the future in front of him. Muddy Waters' presence is felt, but as foundation and inspiration for his son, Big Bill.
Muddy Waters' son - it's a blessing and a challenge. Everyone's watching to see what he's got. Of course Muddy can't be replaced and nobody's trying, but I think you'll find that Big Bill Morganfield has inherited more than a touch of his father's power and talent to mix with his own contribution. There's no other way to explain the audience excitement when he just walks onstage cold. There's no other way to explain their strong reaction to Bill's performance. And there's no other way to explain this album of deep blues, a mixture of Big Bill's legacy and his own vision and style.
Blind Pig Records, and I as producer of this album, are very aware of our responsibility and opportunity to launch Big Bill's career with a strong debut. We tried to put everything in place. We chose legend Pinetop Perkins on piano, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith on drums, Paul Oscher on harmonica, and me on guitar - all of us having played in Muddy's band. We added Chicago's premier electric bass player, Bob Stroger. Frankly, we could put your mama in front of that band and she could sound like a Chicago blues star, but Bill did a lot more than keep up with us. He came into the session not searching, not just hoping, but ready to play deep and to create. He brought his own songs and arrangements. He chose a few of Muddy's songs in tribute and with affection. He studied the other cover songs and made them his own.
Singing, he boldly messes with pronunciation, nonverbal musical sounds, moaning, breaking into falsetto, and delay-time phrasing, for these are in his soul and in his blood. His voice sounds like only himself on every song - it's instantly identifiable as Big Bill. Still, occasionally some phrase or tone of voice will just pop out, and for a second, Muddy's back and smiling. Singing along with the band on the tracking sessions, he led us to our very best playing with him. Bill's performances came fast and easy most of the time, but when they didn't, he reached inside and found what it took to prevail. Many of today's blues albums sound spontaneous but are deliberately and painstakingly crafted, piece by piece. This one just rolled out, fun and inspiring. First album indeed.
Big Bill also plays guitar in Muddy's style, though he's way past the point where he copies it exactly. His slide guitar is featured on two original songs, "Left Hand Blues" and "Rising Son". He sounds blue and lonesome when he slides, and he gets his licks in and out just right. His natural sense of musical time is, uh, familiar - deep Muddy. From the first time we played guitar together, we locked right in and it felt like one person with four hands and two guitars. I've got to tell you, it was a haunted ride, filled with old times and a spirit, for me to play with Bill on these songs.
So come on in and check out Big Bill Morganfield. Go through whatever trip you have to about his ancestry. When the disc spins, Big Bill delivers the blues. Muddy Waters would be proud of his Rising Son". - Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin
Reviews"If roots music is your thing, then Rising Son is one CD you don't want to pass on. This is the debut CD from Big Bill Morganfield, who is following in his father's footsteps as a guitarist, songwriter and performer. Being the son of McKinley Morganfield, a.k.a Muddy Waters, could be a very heavy weight to carry, but Big Bill Morganfield seems to handle it well." - Southwest Blues Magazine