Now that I’m finished with my fast treadmill session, I’m going to slow things down with my usual functional strength and core mat routine. I’ve learned to really like these mat sessions as there is little to do as it pertains to intensity or pace, it’s just me, the tunes and a whole buncha sweat. Sometimes the people watching is pretty good too. So while accomplishing all this I’m taking things down a notch from my speedy track tunes, and listening to some blues instead, namely the ‘Hard Again‘ album by Muddy Waters.
‘Hard Again’ was recorded and produced by Johnny Winter in a very rough, bare-bones style and released on January 10, 1977. Recorded over the span of three days in a small studio in Boston using his then current touring band of guitarist Bob Margolin, pianist Pinetop Perkins, and drummer Willie “Big Eyes” Smith (also includes James Cotton on harmonica), it was Muddy’s first album on the Blue Sky label after leaving Chess Records. Mostly, it was the opportunity for the veteran Chicago bluesman to re-record some of his classic songs and actually get paid for them. The album peaked at #143 on the Billboard 200, which was his first appearance on the chart since ‘Fathers and Sons’ in 1969. The album won the Grammy Award for Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording the year of its release and was ranked as #95 on Mojo’s ‘100 Greatest Albums of All Time list’ (my musical Bible).
Coincidentally, Muddy himself named the album during one recording session by exclaiming, “This music’s so hot it makes me feel hard again!”. Yeah, baby. I know just what he means as that’s a similar sentiment I have during my own training sessions lately…well, ‘hard’ in the mental sense, not in the, well, you know…cause that would be weird…especially at the gym. Okay, I’m ending this post now before I end up in real trouble.