“Unk” In Funk, Muddy Waters’ 1974 release, saw the Chicago bluesman further building on the electric blues of albums like Electric Mud (1968) and After The Rain (1969). It would be one of the last collections of original material that Waters would record with Chess Records, after a nearly 30-year association with the label. The record included a core line up of famed blues players who would remain Waters’ backing band for the duration of his career, featuring Pinetop Perkins on piano, (Earl Hooker) Luther Johnson (The Nighthawks) and Bob Margolin on guitar, Calvin “Fuzz” Jones on bass, (The Legendary Blues Band) and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith on drums, (Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker) with additional guest appearances by George Buford, Paul Oscher (Louisiana Red), and Carey Bell (Willie Dixon) on harmonica.
Even at the age of 61, Waters sounds at the top of his game on “Unk” In Funk. His booming, powerful blues vocals dominate the album’s fuzzy, electric orchestration. Overhauled versions of Waters classics like “Rollin’ and Tumblin'” and “Just To Be With You” sound fresh as ever, and newer tracks like “Katie” and “Waterboy, Waterboy” are classic and organic additions to Waters’ discography. Overlooked and underrated in its time, “Unk” In Funk is a pinnacle album from Waters’ catalog.