This is definitely one of my favorite recordings ever. It's not that it's so innovative (since it was rather late in Muddy's career) or that it features amazing virtuosity (although the guitar on this album is pretty darn good), but it just has an incredible vibe to it, and every song, every moment, is way more than solid. I think the best single word to describe this album is 'raw', from Muddy's biting guitar and, to use an apt cliche, declamatory vocals to the rowdy crowd cheering and applauding at all the right moments. Muddy's explanation after the opener, "Mannish Boy", "I get so carried away wi' young women, I'd kill anybody 'bout one of 'em" fits right in. He then goes into "She's Nineteen Years Old", and although it's sort of disturbing to hear those lyrics coming from a sexagenerian, he does a fine version here, complete with a solo that I think is best described as 'whacked'. In a good way, of course. "Nine Below Zero" is next, with probably the best vocals on the album and heavy harp throughout, along with a nice piano solo. "Streamline Woman" closes out the first side of the tape, again with whacked guitar. "Howling Wolf" continues right where the first side left off. "Baby Please Don't Go" breaks up the slow mood nicely without seeming out of place. And "Deep Down In Florida" ends the album very nicely, taking its time and showcasing everything.
The album has an amazing feel to it. It's mostly slow, more "dark blue" blues, but with the ain't-nobody-gonna-mess-with-me attitude that Muddy exemplifies so well. It's thoroughly solid, which I think is one of the best things that can be said of an album. Its only drawback is playing time, at just under forty minutes. But you couldn't find forty minutes like this on most albums twice this length.