Big Bill Morganfield is the son of McKinley Morganfield (Muddy Waters) and has
emerged in the past few years as one of the top blues talents in America. Bill has
played all over the world in the past 15 years, bringing pure joy to those who
have had the pleasure of seeing his live performance.
Many men try to fill their father's shoes when they join the family business.
Few, however, must prove they are up to the task in front of an audience as large
as the one that watched Big Bill Morganfield come into his own.
Morganfield didn't take up the
challenge until several years after his dad passed away in 1983. The blues world
mourned the passing of Muddy. Muddy leaves not only a gaping hole on the
blues scene but also a grief-stricken son who is contemplating how to handle the
loss. Bill buys himself a guitar and retreats into a private world, intending to teach
himself how to play and then pay homage to his famous father.
That tribute was six long years in coming; years that Morganfield spent teaching
himself how to play the instrument. He studies the blues styles of the past. Says
Bill, "I learned the old traditional blues, songs written in the 1930's to the 1950's."
An evening spent playing harp at Center Stage in Atlanta with Lonnie Mack
followed. The audience, which numbered 1000, went wild over the performance
and set the novice musician's spirit afire.
The years of dedication and hard work paid off handsomely. Morganfield's
debut album, Rising Son, was released in 1999 to popular and critical acclaim.
Guitar Player expressed their belief that Morganfield's album would have brought
a smile to his father's face. The following year, the W.C. Handy Awards dubbed
Waters' son the Best New Blues Artist.
In 2009, Big Bill Morganfield started his own record company, Black Shuck
Records. Black Shuck Records is backed by VizzTone Label Group and serves
as the backbone of Black Shuck Records. Bill's new CD, Born Lover, was
released July 7, 2009 on Black Shuck Records. CD co-producer (and Muddy
Waters' Band alumnus) Bob Margolin writes, "Big Bill Morganfield's, Born Lover,
reveals and celebrates his journey and progress as a Blues artist. I find that Bill
still honors his father with deep Chicago Blues. He also tells his own stories with
original songs, a wide variety of style, and fiery slide guitar. Bill's singing has
taken an exciting leap forward in both power and nuance. It's a thrill to hear Bill
In 2013 Big Bill released, "Blues With A Mood", also on his own label, Black Shuck Records. However, this was done without the backing of VizzTone Label Group. "Blues With A Mood" reached the #1 position on Living Blues Radio charts in March of 2013 and has received great reviews all over the world.
In 2013 Big Bill won a Jus' Blues Award for "Best Contemporary Blues Artist". Also in 2013, Big Bill was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in St. Louis MO. as a "Master Blues Artist".
asked about his brand of blues, Bill exclaims, “ I play real blues.
Nothing but real blues and I play it with my heart, my soul and a little
bit of Mud grease.”
Big Bill's story is simply a great success story. Many have dreams, but so few
have what it takes to make that dream a reality. But, hard work, burning desire,
perseverance, and strong religious convictions gave him the strength and focus
needed to fulfill his dreams.