He’s been called “Steady Rollin” for years but he could also be known as “Country Strollin” Bob Margolin. The quintessential bluesman has a lot to say and words come to him during his walks with his border collies around his North Carolina home.
Margolin reflects on his storied career on “My Road,” an album which will be released on Friday.
“For every note I play there are 50 years of shows, 2 million miles of highways and a passion that just grows,” he sings on the album’s anthemic opener “My Whole Life.”
One night he plays a concert where thousands of music lovers hang on every note, and another night he’s in the corner of a sports bar where the audience is mostly paying attention to a game on TV screens.
The veracity of Margolin’s stories complement the passion of his guitar playing, which is legendary. He played with Muddy Waters during the most commercially successful time in his career, from 1973-80, when Johnny Winter produced three Grammy winning records and Martin Scorcese shot “The Last Waltz.” A young, fuzzy headed Margolin fortuitously stood next to Waters during the iconic music film’s single camera recording of “Mannish Boy,” which introduced authentic blues to a mainstream audience.
“My Road” is an album for true blues lovers, traditionally recorded by a trio, with Tad Walters (harp, guitar) and Chuck Cotton (drums) at Fidelitorium Recordings in Kernersville, North Carolina. It was produced by Michael Freeman.
“(The album) 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,” Margolin wrote in a press statement.
Margolin wrote or co-wrote eight of the 12 songs on “My Road,” which includes a rousing rendition of Sean Costello’s “Low Life Blues.”
A highlight is Margolin’s spooky slide guitar homage to his peers. Muddy, Pinetop Perkins, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Nappy Brown, Sunnyland Slim, Robert Johnson and the devil, Hubert Sumlin, Koko Taylor, Junior Wells, Jimmy Rogers and Calvin “Fuzz” Jones in “Heaven Mississippi” are no doubt smiling because Margolin is keeping their music alive here on earth.
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