It’s been five years now since we told you about a Robert Johnson tribute album from an outfit calling itself the Big Head Blues Club, consisting of rock/jam band Big Head Todd & the Monsters joined by a rotating roster of blues guests that included Hubert Sumlin, B.B. King, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Charlie Musselwhite, Cedric Burnside, and Ruthie Foster, among others.
So we were delighted to hear recently that the Club is slated to make a return appearance this fall, this time paying tribute to another blues great in singer/songwriter/producer/bass player and both Blues and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Willie Dixon. Often referred to as the “poet laureate of the blues”, Dixon, you’ll recall, was the author of such classics as “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man,” “Spoonful”, “Wang Dang Doodle”, “My Babe”, “Little Red Rooster”, “Built for Comfort”, “I Ain’t Superstitious”, “Evil”, “I Just Want to Make Love to You”, and “You Can’t Judge a Book By the Cover” along with hundreds of others performed by the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, Little Walter, Otis Rush, and Koko Taylor, and covered by countless artists through the decades, including Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Cream, Eric Clapton, and The Doors.
With several of the featured bluesmen from the previous recording having since moved on to the big blues gig in the sky – including B.B. King, Honeyboy Edwards, and Hubert Sumlin – the Club has a bit of a different line-up in this most recent incarnation, with the Monsters joined this time around by a pair of second-generation bluesmen in Mud Morganfield (son of McKinley Morganfield, a.k.a. Muddy Waters) and Ronnie Baker Brooks (son of Lonnie Brooks), as well as harmonica player Billy Branch, who got his start as a member of Dixon’s Chicago All-Stars band shortly after being discovered by Dixon.
You can hear and read more about the upcoming album from the Club and their accompanying tour on PledgeMusic. We haven’t yet seen a tracklist of the 13 songs that will make up the project, but you can hear “Hidden Charms” on the video introducing the album, and we can only deduce from the album’s title that either or both “You Need Love” (covered by Zeppelin as “Whole Lotta Love”) or “I Can’t Quit You Baby” – each of which contains the lyrics “way down inside” – will also be included, most likely the former.
We’ll be sure to bring you more on this one upon its September release, but in the meantime, here’s a look back at the earlier Club (including Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm) performing Robert Johnson’s “Come On in My Kitchen” from a Mississippi show: