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Muddy Waters’ long journey from Mississippi sharecropper and bootlegger to blues legend and rock ‘n’ roll progenitor may not be as mythopoetic as Robert Johnson’s meeting at the crossroads, but it’s still fascinating—especially in the hands of author Robert Gordon, whose Can’t Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters is nearly as good as his 1995 book, It Came From Memphis. Between Gordon and Waters, it’s hard to tell who’s the better wordsmith. Whether summing up Waters’ love life (“He always had women on the side, and women on the other side too”) or the commonalities of Waters’ two careers (“Sharecropping—getting less than half of what you’ve got coming to you—was good training for a life in the music business”), Gordon’s prose practically crackles with joy. As for Waters, his summation of a childhood Christmas (“We didn’t have a apple, we didn’t have a orange, we didn’t have a cake, we didn’t have nothing”) is a blues song in miniature, as is his exclamation upon hearing an old recording: “I thought that record was drownded in the river.” Gordon speaks with Smithsonian music archivist Reuben Jackson at 7 p.m. at Borders, 18th and L Streets. NW. Free. (202) 466-4999. (Michael Little)