Incredible show at Moondog’s Thursday night from blues guitar masters Bob Margolin, Hubert Sumlin and band. In addition to covering many of the classics from their days in the bands of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, respectively, these guys threw in a nice array of songs from other blues/R&B performers such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles (a rompin’ version of “What’d I Say”), and quite a few from the legendary Nappy Brown, including drummer Chuck Cotton on vocals for “Keep on Pleasin’ You” and young blues rocker/guitarist Matt Hill taking on vocals and lead guitar for “Lemon Squeezin’ Daddy” – complete with on-the-floor antics reminiscent of Nappy himself (which prompted Margolin to announce him as “on the bass, on the guitar, and on the floor: Matt Hill” during the introduction of the band). Hill also does a mean job on vocals and lead on “Howlin’ for My Baby”, which seemed to impress even Sumlin, who’s probably heard the song thousands of times since he first played it with the Wolf.
Other highlights of the evening included a Margolin-led tribute to his longtime bandmate and friend Pinetop Perkins on “How Long Blues”, which according to Margolin, Perkins still “plays at least once a night, sometimes two or three,” Margolin and Sumlin without the rest of the band of “Going Down Slow”, and the whole gang taking it full-tilt with one of the strongest performances of “Got My Mojo Workin'” you’ll ever hear.
It was also a real treat to see and hear them play “Don’t Go No Further”, a Muddy tune which featured Sumlin on guitar on the original recording and that Sumlin later included on his About Them Shoes album, and a bunch of Wolf songs, including “Sittin’ on Top of the World” and “Built for Comfort”, following Sumlin’s taking the stage to “Killing Floor”.
The band was joined by several hometown special guests throughout the evening, with blue-eyed soul man Billy Price taking on vocals for several songs and new Nighthawks drummer Mark Stutso taking a turn on the cans as well as vocals on “Matchbox Blues”.
It isn’t everyday that two legends of blues guitar come through town to play together, particularly in as intimate a venue as Moondog’s, so I expect this is one that blues fans fortunate enough to have been in attendance will remember and talk about for some time.