British bluesmeister and national treasure, Bernie Marsden, shares the video for ‘I’m Ready’, taken from his latest album ‘Chess’ (review here).
‘I’m Ready’ is a classic Muddy Waters’ number, noted for its menace and threat. Bernie brings his own spin to the track, vocally and in his guitarwork, ensuring this is not just a heartfelt homage, but a strong version in its own right rather than a simple cover.
As Rock and Blues Muse note: “’Chess’ features more than a carefully curated homage to famous blues tracks… Marsden provides nuanced guitar virtuosity and soulful vocals and is backed by ace players John Gordon (bass guitar) Jim Russell (drums), Bob Haddrell (keyboards) and Alan Glen (harmonica).
“On ‘I’m Ready’, Bernie’s vocal is what truly distinguishes the cover from the original. Muddy Waters’ voice was deep and brooding, while Marsden brings an easy-going swagger to the lyrics that boast about being ready to take on anything and anybody.”
Planet Rock agree, saying “Belying Marsden’s genial persona, his cover of ‘I’m Ready’ sees him embrace the defiant swagger of the track as he spouts lines like: “I gotta axe handle pistol, on a graveyard frame / That shoots tombstone bullets, wearing balls and chain / I’m drinkin’ TNT, smokin’ dynamite / I hope some screwball start a fight.”
Eagle-eyed viewers of the black and white ‘I’m Ready’ video will spot ‘The Beast’ — Bernie’s legendary ’59 Les Paul — as he caresses another blistering solo from it.
‘Chess’ features 10 lightning-charged tracks that were originally released on the fabled Chess label by icons like Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters & Elmore James. What’s more, two Bernie Marsden-penned instrumentals appear as bonus tracks on the album.
Classic Rock described ‘Chess’ as “a work of both entertainment and education. A 24-carat cut above” — a fitting description as Bernie’s ‘Inspirations’ series is devoted to the music that fired his own love of music, inspired him and taught him to play and perform. With the ‘Inspirations’ series, Bernie hopes to shine a light on these artists, hoping to inspire future guitarists and artists.
Pete Clack (Blues in Britain) puts it perfectly: “Bernie Marsden by this second release in this series will bring such inspiration to many of the young players today, along with those who love blues at its very finest. A fabulous release, not to be missed!”
‘Chess’ is now available to download/stream on all digital platforms: here