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Son of Muddy Waters to launch this year’s Dereham Blues Festival

PUBLISHED: 11:00 05 February 2015 | UPDATED: 11:00 05 February 2015

Mud Morganfield is opening the Dereham Blues Festival

Mud Morganfield is opening the Dereham Blues Festival

Archant

He is set to swap the Windy City for a mid-Norfolk town, but the arrival of blues star Mud Morganfield to this year’s Dereham Blues Festival is being heralded as a major coup for the region.

Mud Morganfield

Mud Morganfield, the eldest son of legendary bluesman Muddy Waters, was drawn to music at an early age.

He learned to make the best of his famous father’s hectic touring schedule, seeing Muddy only during brief breaks at home in Chicago.

Ever the devoted father, Muddy bought his son a drum set every Christmas, which Mud learned to play at age seven.

Later, he switched to bass guitar, while delving into songwriting. Mud and his younger brother, noted blues singer and guitarist “Big” Bill Morganfield, entertained the idea of becoming professional musicians after Muddy’s death in 1983.

Blues fans were introduced to Mud at a tribute concert to his father in 2007, but his performance at the Chicago Blues Festival that same year brought him instant recognition.

Mud composed most of the songs on his award-winning album Son Of The Seventh Son, including Blues In My Shoes. He also performs the Muddy Waters tune, You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had.

In 2014, Mud’s new album, For Pops, recorded in tribute to his late father, together with Thunderbirds frontman, Kim Wilson, sees him make a very personal statement about his roots.

Mud’s travels are taking him and his music worldwide, with appearances in the biggest festivals and venues, such as the legendary Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and the Royal Albert Hall Blues Fest, and on to TV shows such as Later… with Jools Holland.

However, Mud is taking his surge in popularity in his stride: “When I’m up on stage I always feel pops is there with me, and it means so much that I can get on stage and keep his music alive around the world,” he says.

Chicago blues maestro Morganfield, the eldest son of Muddy Waters and Mildred McGhee, plays to sell out audiences around the world, but on Thursday, July 9, he will play at Dereham’s Memorial Hall to kickstart the event which has become a must for all blues music lovers.

Now in its third year, the Dereham Blues Festival, organised by Norfolk Blues Society (NBS), is once again expecting to welcome music fans from across the country.

Morganfield will be supported by NBS house band The Shunters, with guest host Paul Tinkler.Organisers Stewart and Doreen Aitken are also pleased to see the return of the Gemini to the list of venues. They would like to add one more venue to the current list of eleven venues so the festival could be the only ‘Twelve bars of Blues’ festival in the country.

So far, they have The Gemini, The Cherry Tree, The George, The Standard, Heroes Sports Bar, The Bull, Red Lion, The Railway Tavern, The Kings Head, The Plough, and Dereham Railway Station.

Dereham Blues Festival organisers Stewart and Doreen Aitken. Picture: Ian BurtDereham Blues Festival organisers Stewart and Doreen Aitken. Picture: Ian Burt

The opening concert has been moved to the Thursday night to extend the festival from three dates to four. This will give the audience a chance to see Mud Morganfield and still be able to see the start of the main festival on the Friday night, which will feature the best blues bands in the region.

Tickets for Mud Morganfield will not go on sale until NBS members have had their priority booking week in April. They will then go on sale to the general public online through the Festival website www.derehambluesfestival.org and through Sounds Music in Dereham.

Are you organising an event? Email kathryn.cross@archant.co.uk

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