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Buyer's Guide: Muddy Waters

The best of the electric warrior of blues who mobilised the Stones and Clapton

Chicago in the 1950s was not acircuit for the faint-hearted. To venture into the blues dives that dotted the city’s South Side was to enter a hard, violent, visceral subculture, epitomised by the episode in Buddy Guy’s memoirs where a murderous barfly arrived at a club holding his wife’s severed head. If the punters weren’t intimidating enough, the competition was. On any given night, at any given bar, you’d have found a jobbing legend, from Otis Rush and Magic Sam to white-boy interlopers like Paul Butterfield and Mike Bloomfield. Always on the prowl, meanwhile, was the big, bad Howlin’ Wolf.


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