First Appeared in The Music Box, September 2004, Volume 11, #9
Written by John Metzger
Following the remarkable success of Hard Again, Muddy Waters rejoined Johnny Winter in the same Connecticut recording studio for a session that resulted in Iím Ready. Given how well everything worked the first time, it wasnít surprising that little changed in the duoís approach to the new album. The backing band, however, was slightly different ó Bob Margolin had switched from guitar to bass; Jerry Portnoy and Big Walter Horton had replaced James Cotton on harp; and Jimmy Rogers was added on guitar ó and this was what largely kept the outing from becoming a redundant affair.
Like its predecessor, Iím Ready offered some rather resplendent performances of both old and new material, and the triple guitar attack provided by Winter, Rogers, and Waters lent the collection a fiery sense of urgency that mirrored the passion and conviction of the blues legendís stirring vocals. Highlights included the title trackís spectacular harp-heavy indulgences as well as the snarling guitars that laced tunes like Copper Brown and Mamie, but truth be told, there was nary a dud in the bunch. Even the bonus tracks that have been tacked onto the conclusion of the recent reissue are suitably stunning, ranging from the smoldering No Escape from the Blues to the intoxicating sorrow of Thatís Alright. The end result is that the oft-overlooked Iím Ready is now even more of a worthwhile second chapter in the vital Winters-Waters catalog than it was in its prior incarnation.
Of Further Interest...
I'm Ready is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box