It’s always a pleasure to see the Big Bill Morganfield Blues Band whenever they perform here in Toronto, Ontario. Whether it’s the Silver Dollar as it was this night and others, or at a one-off blues fest at the Toronto waterfront, outdoors a few years ago, Big Bill is always here to please.
Bill’s main asset onstage is that he’s a people person one who likes the audience, and they like him back! Bill really puts his ‘all’ into his guitar playing, and is backed admirably and first class all the way by a cream de la cream rhythm section. Blues legend Bob Margolin is lead guitarist in Bill’s band, as he was in Bill’s father’s band, the one and only Mississippi Muddy Waters decades ago in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, until Muddy’s untimely passing in 1983.
Cynthia Adler was featured on upright bassist on this tour. She really rocks her Steinberger upright bass to the nth degree. Another major plus in Bill’s band is drummer Larry Griffith, from Atlanta, GA. Not only is he a superb talent on the skins .. he is also an outstanding blues vocalist, who more than a few times this evening, sang up a storm on several blues classics. On other occasions Kenny 'Beady Eyes' Smith, Willie 'Big Eyes' son, is the drummer in Big Bill's band. Keyboard player Neil Wauchope backed up Bill's band with some imaginative blues riffs, that fit in nicely.
The crowd was in high spirits, and packed the dance floor on many of the varied and high energy blues tunes offered up by Bill and his fine band this night.
One of Bill’s outstanding musical assets is the highly energized slide guitar riffs he plays, that almost seem like a blur on the neck of his guitar. The energy that emanates from him when he really gets into a ‘slide lead’, is both hypnotizing and enthralling, all at the same time.
Bill's band usually opens for him, with some incredibly inventive jazz/blues jamming, that really shows off their ingenius talent in the jazz genre. Margolin's intricate jazz chords and leads really clicked with Adler's intense bass lines, Griffith on drums and Wauchope's keyboard wizardry -- to invent their own unique interpretations as well -- culminating in an all-star smorgasborg of jazzy cacophony that truly awed the crowd with their talent at the Silver Dollar this night.
A night of entertainment with the Big Bill Morganfield Band is sure to please one and all. Bill’s out to see to it that everyone has a good time, when they see his band and a good time it surely is!
So, whenever you have a chance to see the Big Bill Morganfield Band perform live near you, please do yourself a great favor, and get out there and rock it up with Bill, and you’ll be sure to come back for more next time he’s playing in your area!