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Can't Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters
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Can't Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  581 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Good, xx, 408 p., [14] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 373-383) and index. Light wear to d/w edges. Contents clean and unmarked. Square and sound.
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Little Brown and Company
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I watched / listened to You Tube Muddy Waters videos as I read this book. What an eye opening experience.
An excellent account of Muddy's development from acoustic blues in the delta to electric blues in Chicago. He led the way in updating the music from an agricultural environment to an urban setting where he created the music which so heavily influenced younger musicians in the Stones and people like Clapton & Page.
The book pulls no punches and shows aspects of Muddy's life & character which do not show him in a good light. It offers insights into the other musicians & people he worked
Michael Arden
The Chicago suburbs where I grew up are a long way from the Mississippi Delta. The north suburbs are also in a parallel universe far from the south side of what has been called the most segregated city in America. The country blues of the Deep South played primarily on acoustic instruments came north with the musicians as northern wartime industries expanded and the great migration of African-Americans from the South was at its height during WWII and immediately afterwards. Reflecting the frenet ...more
John Branney
This book is well written and an interesting read, even though I struggled getting through the details of the early years.

It was interesting to read about all of the great bluesmen that were influenced by Muddy Waters and actually played in his band, such as Jimmy Rogers, Little Walter, Otis Spann, Pinetop Perkins, James Cotton, Junior Wells, and many others. It was heartbreaking to read how many of these pioneers of the blues actually died pretty young and penniless, screwed over by the record
Jim Angstadt
After a summary of the economics of share-cropping, to include one half of the gross to the plantation owner, and the other half, minus all bills, to the share-cropper, maybe the result is positive for the share-cropper, maybe not. The company store may charge unreasonable-high prices. The local plantation script may be intentionally devalued. In other words, the share-cropper gets screwed.

In summary: "Sharecropping - getting less than half of what you've got coming to you - was good training fo
This was an interesting read. I don't know if I learned a lot about who Muddy Waters was, but I learned a lot of what he did. The author makes a lot of Waters' sharecropping background and the idea that he was subservient to the record companies and didn't really question what he was getting as long as he was taken care of. I know a lot of recording artists have gotten screwed by record companies and it wasn't because they were sharecroppers.

I learned what others thought of Muddy and what he di
McKinley Morganfield came up the Stovall Plantation in the Mississippi Delta playing in the dangerous water so much that his Grandmother gave him the name Muddy. He started picking cotton, playing music and finally got his first guitar after seeing Son House who would remain a big influence. He became Muddy waters after moving to Chicago and influenced many rock musicians such as the Rolling Stones who took their name from one of his songs as well as countless blues musicians.

I was lucky enough
Itasca Community Library
Jeff says:

I was lucky enough to see Muddy Waters live at Chicagofest on Navy Pier in the early 80’s. I can’t say I remember much except that he was sitting down playing long, slow, searing guitar licks with a slide on a Fender Telecaster. At that time I wasn’t really aware of the range of his influence since I was just enjoying the music, but he influenced rock bands as well as blues musicians and even a well known rock magazine took its name from one of his songs, Rolling Stone.
Brendan Cheney
I watched Cadillac Records and found the story it told too superficial and Hollywood; I wanted to know the real story of Muddy Waters and the history of the blues. This book was perfect for that. Every part of the movie gave only a glimpse - sometimes that glimpse was out of focus and sometimes it was grossly oversimplified.

Can't Be Satisfied fills in all the details. You learn about Muddy's original success and his second coming. You learn real stories about what blues musicians he was the rol
Frank Inserra
Nothing but Muddy here. This is a very enjoyable read that brings you from Delta to Chicago in the most personal terms. A panoramic introduction the the Blues greats from the greatest. You will learn a lot more than about blues music in this book, since it reveals a great deal about a vibrant sector of the American experience .
David Burke
Muddy Waters was and continues to be the King of the Chicago blues. At the time of his passing I was playing in my first blues band and covering a lot of his classic tunes. Reading this book brought back the shock and loss of his death and the triumph of his life.

God Bless Muddy Waters.
Edward Sullivan
A good, informative, and engaging chronicle of Muddy's life, career, and influence on other musicians though I would have appreciated a deeper discussion of his approach to music and what made his unique from other blues artists who were his contemporaries.
So much detail in this book. Exhaustive investigation of his early life and legendary encounters with key icons in American music. One drawback is the author spends a LOT of time detailing Muddy's sexual exploits in a way that isn't relevant to the story. Like, I just need to know that Muddy hooked with the lady across the street because she was renowned for her sexual prowess, I don't need to read several paragraphs about what it was exactly that she did.

Small drawback in an otherwise excellent
A curious rock n' roll biography in that it's devoid of the stereotypical decline and fall due to drink and drugs. Muddy's life and career were interesting but remarkably straightforward. He mostly stayed out of trouble (except with women) and his career had highs and lows, before ending at a pretty high point of fame and success (if not so much in the way of monetary gain). The book was excellent, but seemed a bit short to me. Perhaps because of a lack of many scandalous escapades a la HAMMER O ...more
Allan Von schenkel
I had a very enjoyable ... and educational ... experience with this book. As I read it I followed along on youtube and wiki (listening to and reading about) every song, album, and performer mentioned. Perhaps in the future ebooks will be written in a way that provide links to performances and additional resources. Previous to this I read Buddy Guys autobiography. Reading this book has made me want to read books on or by BB King, Howlin Wolf and Little Walter.
Robin Webster
This book is a must for any blues fan. It tells the story of one of the great masters of the blues Muddy Waters and how he and other Chicago blues greats like Howling Wolf and Little Walter changed the direction of contempory music forever. It is well told and not only outlines his brilliant musical career but also also his relationships with the Chess brother, his women and some of his children. A great book.
An exhaustive biography of the seminal electric blues man, Muddy Waters, but it is a difficult and slow read. I appreciate the vast research that went into the book, however I felt that the author could have used more judicious editing.
Still this is a thorough documentation of the life of one of the most important American folk musicians and if you are a blues fan you will want to delve into it.
A truly great read. The author brings you into the world of the plantation juke joints of Mississippi, the Blues clubs of Chicago and the eventual concert halls that Muddy strode like a lion. It also gives a view behind the curtain at the private Muddy Waters. I would highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in the Blues.
Not bad overall, and the long quoted sections where it's just Muddy talking are really enjoyable. Unfortunately the author is a huge dork and every few pages there's a cringe-worthy dad joke, or another piece of 'blues wisdom' imparted by a middle-aged white guy who was probably a virgin until the age of 30.
May 12, 2007 Kevin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Blues fans
It makes me want to walk the steps of muddy and I thought that the author did a great job causing you to research other blues artists that played with muddy, and inspired him. I spent many hours listening to muddy and other artists because of this book.
Alex Rivas
Muddy Waters inspired magazines, hundreds of musicians and left a sizeable musical legacy, this book recounts his life well, his greatness and his flaws; his work and his private life.

If you are a blues fan, this is a must read.
First there is the music: deep, powerful, sexy. You have to get that on your own.

Then there is the man -- simple, complicated, ignorant, brilliant -- and the hurricane in which he set sail. You get some help here.

Essential reading.
Oct 02, 2007 Scott rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Blues music lovers
This is a first-rate biography of Muddy Waters. He comes across as a man, not as some blues god. Anyone truly interested in learning about the sources of blues music would truly enjoy this book.
A fabulous book about one of the most important and essential American musicians of all time. Muddy Waters' influence on 20th Century American music can't be overstated.
Very well written and researched. It bogs down at the end with accounts of tours, which is not that interesting. But this is the definitive account of Muddy Water's life.
Christian Welch
From plantation to spotlight. This is a historical recount and background investigation of events that shaped the late great Muddy Waters. I found this to be a great trip book-
This was one of the 2003 RUSA Notable Books winners. For the complete list, go to
Alison Becker
Left DC before I finished this book and had to return it to the library... so, I'll let you know when I get to those last 80 pages.
Ray Dunsmore
Muddy Waters is a god damn legend. Plain and simple. If you like the blues, you'll like to hear about a man who made them like no one else.
A very good account of a blues legend and innovator. Where would we be without Muddy!
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