The names of the musicians who've passed thru Muddy Water's various bands over the past 30 years read like a "Who's Who" of Chicago blues. The members of the Legendary Blues Band, who appeared last night at the Cellar Door, are typical of the top-flight bluesmen Waters has had the good fortune to recruit.
Each of them worked with Waters until last year except for lead guitarist Louis Myers, best known for the recordings he made with Little Walter in the '50s. He is a fluent guitarist who favors a sharp, insistent tone when he solos and spacious, full chords when supporting pianist Pinetop Perkins.
Perkins turned back the clock on Leroy Carr's "How Long?" to a time in the '30s when guitar and piano duets were blues staples. Then he hammered out some infectious boggie-woogie, full of emphatic sweeps and playful trills. Along with bassist Calvin Jones and drummer Willie Smith, he rounds out one of Chicago's most respected rhythm sections. As usual, Jerry Portnoy covered a lot of territory on the harmonica, everything from the gentle sway of a 12-bar shuffle to the piercing, upper register sound of Jimmy Reed's "Hush Hush."
The band returns tonight.