Album: I'm Ready

"I'm Ready" is a studio album by the legendary blues musician Muddy Waters, released in 1978. The album, produced by Johnny Winter, features a combination of Waters' initial material and covers of noteworthy blues tunes. "I'm Ready" symbolized an effective return for Muddy Waters and went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording in 1979. It showcased the skill and enthusiasm that Muddy Waters gave blues music, capturing the quintessential Chicago blues noise.

Background and Production
Following the favorable reception of his previous album, "Hard Again" (1977), Muddy Waters chose to continue his collaboration with Johnny Winter by collaborating on "I'm Ready". It was tape-recorded at Streeterville Studios in Chicago, where Waters returned to his roots and reviewed his timeless Chicago blues noise.

Winter season's function as a producer extended beyond the recording studio, as he played guitar on the album and combined a stellar lineup of artists. These included artists from Waters' touring band, namely Jerry Portnoy on harmonica and 'Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin on guitar. The album likewise featured contributions from blues legends such as Willie "Big Eyes" Smith on drums, Jimmy Roger on guitar and Pinetop Perkins on piano, supplying a potent blues framework for Waters' effective vocals.

Tracklist and Song Analysis
"I'm Ready" consists of nine tracks, with a generous mix of initial structures and covers. The album kicks off with the title track "I'm Ready", a Willie Dixon structure characterized by its assertive lyrics and swinging rhythm. This sets the tone for a solid, energetic and appealing album.

Next is "33 Years", a slow blues number originally by J.B. Lenoir, which enables Waters to deliver an enthusiastic singing efficiency communicating the emotion of a male thinking back about his long-lasting relationship.

"Who Do You Trust" provides a gritty and dirty blues noise, including appealing guitar riffs, whereas "Copper Brown" picks up the pace with its driving rhythm and Perkins' dynamic piano work.

The album's highlight is perhaps "Rock Me", a sluggish and seductive blues song in which Waters' sensual vocal performance is accompanied by Winter's guitar and Perkins' piano playing.

Waters showcases his harmonica abilities on "Screamin' and Cryin'", another Willie Dixon composition, before diving into the raw and uninhibited "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl", which includes obscene lyrics, dark harmonica tones, and a driving beat.

The penultimate track, "No Escape from the Blues", is a contemplative blues tune that enables Waters to demonstrate his psychological depth and vulnerability.

Lastly, the album closes with "That's Alright," a James A. Lane cover, leaving listeners with a sluggish, brooding and intense blues anthem, completely wrapping up the album.

Legacy and Impact
"I'm Ready" was a victory for Muddy Waters, sealing his status as one of the most significant and influential blues musicians of perpetuity. The album not just made him a Grammy Award however also introduced his music to a new generation of blues fans who appreciated its contemporary sound and relatable emotions.

It showed Muddy Waters' capability to evolve as an artist and adjust to the times, yet remain real to the roots of the Chicago blues that defined his career. More than forty years after its release, "I'm Ready" continues to resonate with blues fans who appreciate its rawness, authenticity, and powerful performances. It's an album that functions as a testament to Muddy Waters' function in forming the world of blues music.
I'm Ready Cover

Artist: Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters Muddy Waters, the Father of Chicago Blues, who inspired generations of musicians with his electrifying Delta blues style. Read quotes & more.
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