Boston native Bob Margolin was born in 1949. Inspired by Chuck Berry, he started playing guitar at age 15 and immediately started performing in local rock and blues bands. Margolin was hired by Muddy Waters in 1973.
Muddy’s band toured the world and jammed with many great blues and rock musicians, “but the biggest thrill was playing Muddy’s Blues with him.” Muddy brought Margolin with him to special shows and recordings, when he sometimes didn’t use his whole band, to give him a familiar sound when working with other musicians. In 1975, they recorded Grammy Award-winning “Muddy Waters Woodstock Album”, Muddy’s last for Chess Records, which featured Paul Butterfield, and Levon Helm and Garth Hudson from The Band. In ‘76, Muddy brought Margolin with him to San Francisco to perform at The Band’s “Last Waltz” concert. Martin Scorsese filmed the concert for the classic film. “As it happened, only one camera was operating during our performance, zooming in or out, and since I was standing right next to Muddy, I was in every shot while he sang a powerful ‘Mannish Boy.'” Margolin also played on the four albums that Muddy recorded for Blue Sky Records, which were produced by Johnny Winter, and with Johnny on his Nothin’ But The Blues album. Three of those albums won Grammy Awards.
Margolin appeared on a Kennedy Center Tribute to Muddy Waters in 1997, which featured Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, John Hiatt, G.E. Smith, Peter Wolf, Nick Gravenites, Keb’ Mo’, Big Bill Morganfield, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Charlie Musselwhite, Barry Goldberg, and Johnnie Johnson. A DVD, “A Tribute to Muddy Waters, King of the Blues”, was released the next year.
In 2016, Bob won two Blues Blast Magazine Awards, one as Best Male Blues Artist, and one for Best Traditional Blues Album for his new album, “My Road.” In 2013, Bob was nominated for The Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Award for Traditional Male Blues Artist. He has won Blues Music Awards for guitar in 2008 and 2005.
Bob Margolin has played on several Grammy-winning recordings, won numerous W.C. Handy/Blues Music Awards for his playing and is a KBA Award recipient for Journalism. [In the early ’90s, Margolin began a second career as a music writer. In 2011, he released an eBook featuring the best of his writing — “Steady Rollin’ – Blues Stories, Snapshots, (Intentional) Blues Fiction.] He’s produced albums for numerous artists including Muddy’s son Big Bill Morganfield, Candye Kane, Pinetop Perkins, Mac Arnold, Ann Rabson and produced and consulted on reissues of Muddy Waters’ recordings for the Blue Sky Label for Sony/Legacy.