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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Muddy Waters at Vulcan Gas Company, August 2 and 3, 1968

Muddy Waters at Vulcan Gas Company, August 2 and 3, 1968 was an amazing show. The Vulcan is where Muddy Waters met Johnny Winter, who would be the Chicago blues icon’s greatest champion to the rock world, in 1968. From his dressing room, Waters heard Winter’s trio and was so impressed with the authentic sound, he got King Curtis, the saxophone player from Fort Worth, on the phone. Muddy held up the receiver for about a minute while JW wailed the blues, then got back on the phone. “He's white,” Waters exclaimed. “I mean, he’s really white. Do you believe this shit!?”
 
Muddy Waters Vulcan
Muddy Waters Vulcan

“They did a standard 45 minute set,” Vulcan owner Don Hyde recalls of Muddy’s Friday show. As you can see from the photo, they weren’t even wearing their customary suits. “It was only 10:45, so I asked Johnny if he would play for a couple of more hours. He said 'sure'.” Waters did hear that set, when JW came out and blew the doors off the place.

“The next night, Muddy’s band came back dressed to the nines and played for over two hours,” Hyde says. “They blew Johnny off the stage, then they did a couple of tunes together.” Winter went on to produce and play on some of Muddy’s great ’70s albums.
Muddy Waters Vulcan
Muddy Waters Vulcan

Asked about that weekend, his first visit to Austin, Muddy’s harmonica player Paul Oscher says he doesn’t remember any time Winter cut Muddy’s band. “It wasn’t possible,” said Oscher, who now lives in far South Austin. “I think maybe we’d been driving all day Friday and we were tired. And then we were well-rested on Saturday and got down to business.” Check out this vid of a newly restored poster from this gig: 


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Verbiage and pictures sourced from Michael Corcoran's blog: http://www.michaelcorcoran.net/archives/3176

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