Better Know a Stoner Song – Champagne & Reefer by Muddy Waters

Fans of Muddy Waters know his timeless voice from a mile away, but even given his hallmark vocal abilities and dirty southern blues licks, if you knew Muddy, you knew to just call him ‘Mud’.

Born April 4th, 1913, in Mud’s impact on music was one of the most long tenured and wide ranging of any artist I have previously read about. Consider, the following influences that Mud had on the worldwide music scene:

  • The Rolling Stones took their name from Mud’s 1950 song “Rollin’ Stone”
  • Eric Clapton was his best man in 1979, when he married his second wife
  • He won 6 Grammy’s in the 1970s, after White music noticed that he had dominated the R&B charts from the mid 1950s thru the 60s.
  • The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame cites 4 of his songs among the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock & Roll.
  • He played with legends such as Bo Diddley,
  • Formerly Seattle based Ian Moore famously covered “Champagne & Reefer” for the now out-of-print “Hempilation” (1995) CD.
Muddy Waters in Paris, France, 1976. Photo by Lionel Decoster, used with permission CC BY-SA 4.0

Mud penned (1980), then included the forward thinking “Champagne & Reefer” on his 14th and final studio album, King Bee, in 1981.

Mud clearly and loudly championed cannabis in this song, and clearly understood the fact that cannabis is the safest “let your hair down” recreational drug that the American public broadly employs. Further, he relates the effect to one I have long believed in – the manifestation of love and togetherness that sprouts from cannabis consumption. On top of all of that, it’s just an incredible song from an incredible musician.

“Well you know there should be no law
on people that want to smoke a little dope.
Well you know it’s good for your head
And it relax your body don’t you know.

Everytime I get high
I lay my head down on my baby’s breast.
Well you know I lay down be quiet
Tryin’ to take my rest.
Well you know she done hug and kiss me
Says Muddy your one man that I love the best.”

Lyrics from “Champagne & Reefer”

Though Mud died in late April of 1983, his music continues to be discovered by youth and all walks of life, to this day. His legacy is enduring, and as people find his music broadly available, they will end up coming across the gem “Champagne & Reefer”, which you can find just below.

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