Steady Rollin’’ Bob Margolin brings his blues from down the street

by YES! Staff

Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin brings his blues from down the street

You know him from The Last Waltz, Martin Scorsese’s documentary of the Band’s 1976 farewell concert. He’s standing beside the regal Muddy Waters as the blues master shouts “Mannish Boy.” Waters is an elder statesman, and Margolin the understudy is a smidge younger than the pantheon of rock stars assembled to see the Band off; he’s also playing in a purer form than most of them. He looks at once cocky and scared shitless. You may not know that after Waters’ band folded and the elder blues man’s health failed, Margolin found nourishing audiences in sleepy backwaters in Virginia and North Carolina before whom to continue his vocation, that he stayed in Greensboro because of a woman who is now his wife, and that he’s settled on a piece of land outside High Point in Davidson County.

Over a long career that continues to bring accolades and the rewards of collaborating an evolving cast of blues players, the gruff-speaking but generousspirited Margolin doesn’t mind talking about The Last Waltz. In fact, he’s posted an account on his website, “with long and complete answers, that basically tell everything I know.” (It was an honor to be included, he writes, noting that “friends and folks at my gigs say, ‘I saw you on TV!’ Then, they’ll tell me that I looked… happy, nervous, angry, calm — however they would have felt.” Fans in search of rock-and-roll lore won’t be disappointed by Margolin’s account. He mentions a reputed “backstage cocaine room” and an encounter in the “green room” with a smiling, joint-bearing Neil Young, who says, “We’re all old hippies here.”

Margolin notes that film of Young’s performance “revealed a white rock up his nose, which was edited out frame-by-

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Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin performs his own set and performs withDiunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy at the Carolina Blues Festival onSaturday.