When Muddy Waters tears the roof off the Winterland with "Mannish Boy" during The Last Waltz, Martin Scorsese's film of the Band's 1976 farewell concert, Bob Margolin is standing right next to him. Consequently, you see almost as much of him as the Crawlin' Kingsnake during the number. It's a fairly symbolic visual because Margolin spent most of the '70s in Muddy's band and is one of today's prime players carrying on the traditions of electric Chicago blues. Initially enamored with the music of Chuck Berry, the young Margolin followed the riffs back to their blues roots while playing in a series of groups as singer/guitarist before joining the Waters fold. After touring through much of the '80s, he began releasing records, starting with the aptly titled The Old School. Recently, he gathered a group of the genre's elder statesmen -- including Howlin' Wolf guitarist Hubert Sumlin, Waters pianist Pinetop Perkins (still playing at 90!), Waters drummer Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and Chi-town harp legend Carey Bell for All-Star Blues Jam (Telarc), a rip-roaring, energetic release of covers and Margolin originals. He's also producing reissues of Waters's late-'70s catalog, continuing his work for the legend he refers to in song as "The Man." Though his own solid career is often overshadowed by his connection to Waters, Margolin is as "Steady Rollin'" as his famous nickname.
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