Today is the birthday of Muddy Waters’ youngest son, Joseph “Mojo” Morganfield, who sadly passed away at the end of 2020 at the age of 56. In November of last year, he released his Delmark Records debut recording, “It’s Good To Be King,” featuring fellow Chicago blues stars Ronnie Baker Brooks on guitar, Billy Branch on harp, Brother John Kattke on keys, and Rick Kreher (Mud’s last guitarist) on rhythm guitar!
Joseph “Mojo” Morganfield was born April 14, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois. He began his career as a young boy following in his father’s footsteps, traveling and performing with him. He learned guitar from Muddy and Muddy’s guitarist, Bob Margolin.
Mojo put music temporarily behind him in favor of playing college basketball after winning a scholarship at the University of Northern Iowa and starting a family. Joseph performed on stage with Grammy Award Winners Don Was, Jamey Johnson, and Warren Haynes at The Chicago Theater – The Last Waltz and with his brother, Big Bill Morganfield, at the Chicago Blues Fest. In 2019 Mojo opened for Bad Company featuring Paul Rodgers. He also performed on stage at the Chicago Blues Festival with his band, The Mannish Boyz.
Big Daddy Gumbo sent the song asking me to listen to it and I liked it right away. I put my own signature on it but I liked the bread and butter of the song. Every person has their castle – family, friends, and the things you surround yourself with. That’s what the song says to me. A person should feel like a king or queen. When everything is going right. When the mojo is working! Every dog has his day. Everyone should have their moment – and it doesn’t happen every day, so when it does – enjoy it! – Mojo Morganfield
In a 2019 interview with American Blues Scene, Morganfield said, “My siblings and I are trying to keep my father’s legacy alive. Big Bill and Mud Morganfield are keeping his legacy alive. We don’t want his legacy to die. We are doing our part.” He added, “Being Muddy’s son doesn’t mean anything. I am trying to fine tune my craft and work on my vocals. I take vocal lessons and rehearse with my band. I know it’s not going to happen overnight.”
Morganfield was an ambassador, supporter, and promoter inductee in the prestigious Chicago Blues Hall of Fame, and attended many public events on behalf of his father, keeping his name and legacy alive.
*Feature image credit – Orman Music & Media