Spoonful — Howlin’ Wolf (Chess, 1960)

Howlin’ Wolf’s 1960 single ‘Spoonful’ for Chess Records has become one of the standards of Chicago blues but like many other such songs that are familiar to nearly every blues fan today, it never even appeared on the Billboard charts when it was first released. The masterful performance by Wolf came under the direction of Willie Dixon, who penned the song and played bass on the session. Discographies list the other all-star accompanists as pianist Otis Spann, guitarists Hubert Sumlin and Freddy Robinson (later known as Abu Talib), and drummer Fred Below. Freddie King also claimed to have played guitar on the session. Otis Rush has stated that Dixon presented ‘Spoonful’ to him, but the song didn’t suit Rush’s tastes and so it ended up with Wolf, and soon thereafter with Etta James, who did for Chess what Wolf didn’t at the time–put ‘Spoonful’ on the charts (in a duet with Harvey Fuqua). Wolf’s version, however, was the one that inspired so many blues and rock bands in the years to come, with one of the best-known recordings coming from the Eric Clapton supergroup, Cream.

2016-11-10T17:07:38+00:00 November 10th, 2016|