Muddy Waters

The influence of blues player Muddy Waters on the development of what would become rhythm & blues and rock ‘n’ roll cannot be understated. One of the first louder and harder blues singer/guitarists of the 1940s, Waters introduced a new energy into blues never heard before. Insisting upon electric amplification of live instruments as opposed to the traditional acoustic presentation pervading live blues at the time, Waters offered the public a peppier form of the genre. Contrasting the “sadder” moods of  traditional blues, his stronger emphases on rhythm, subtly brighter chord progressions, and more neutral lyrical themes would give blues the exciting new edge that would become characteristic of more popular music in the mid 20th century. Widely regarded as the father of modern Chicago blues, Muddy Waters’ brand of the twelve-bar genre helped put the ‘R’ in R&B, and would even pave the way for the rock revolution waiting right around the corner.