They don’t teach it in school, but they oughta: Muddy Waters was and remains one of The Grand Daddies of American Music. As Charlie Parker (re)defined jazz and Elvis Presley synthesized country, blues, gospel and pop into rock & roll, McKinley Morganfield a.k.a. Muddy Waters brought electricity to the country blues and became one of the architects of modern blues and, subsequently, rock & roll. This set is a double blessing: it's a re-release of the 1979 Live album, while supplementing it with an additional disc of live material from around the same time. Though this was recorded near the end of his time on this planet, Waters was if not at the peak of his powers, he was darn close to it - his voice still surged with his trademark craggy, hearty, throaty and passionate bellow, urging and inspiring his band to play like the most intense Midnight there ever was. Though he’d some detours into arena rock in the early/mid-70s, Johnny Winter proves that he never left his Texas blues legacy behind - here, he’s driven to play some of the most wrenching, stinging guitar-slinging on his career. The rest of Muddy’s band sizzles they performed with a rare combination of randy vigor and professional restraint - they get that chance to shine, take it, then move on, roaring raw yet never sloppy. True, it would've been nice to have a few more lesser-known tunes here - this is something of a "live greatest hits" thing...but believe it or leave it, not everybody has this stuff in the original studio incarnations, so while this may not be essential for hardcore fans, it's a boon for casual or newer fans. Muddy fans, now’s your chance to replace that worn vinyl (or tinny CD) copy; Muddy/blues neophytes, here’s an ideal entrance point; for the old-school blues fans who think the music got too slick and watered-down (no pun intended - though Muddy did record some less-than-fab later recordings for Chess) after 1967, this set will induce you to reconsider that assumption.