David Johansen & The Harry Smiths. Amazing good recording and wonderful blues.
Two essentials for me. One is Elmore James "Sunnyland" (not to be confused with a song by the same name earlier recorded by James). This one is dirty, distorted and has an edge that hard rock guitars wished to emulate.
The other is the Buddy Guy rendition of "First Time I Met the Blues" in the documentary entitled Chicago Blues directed by Harley Cokliss and variously shown as 1972 or in some cases, 1970. The performance by Mr. Guy is stinging and bitter, and you get the cigarette smoke and sweat of the club in the visual if you see the film. (The later recordings by Guy just don’t seem to have the same mojo).
T-Bone Walker drew a template that is followed today. His earlier recordings did not necessarily reflect the entire stage show, with big band, and guitarist gymnastics, that was once part of his act.
Blues is hard for a reason. To communicate the darkness of a soul on fire, the performer must emote on a level that grabs and holds the audience. This is even more difficult when listening to a recording, at a big remove from the actual performance.
Blues played by rote is no fun; I’d rather Lawrence Welk. But when it gets you, there’s nothing more satisfying.
This being an Audiophile site, I have to mention the legendary Muddy Waters' album Folk Singer. Originally on Chess Records, later reissued by Mobile Fidelity, then Classic Records, and currently Analogue Productions. Great acoustic Folk Blues music (with Buddy Guy on electric guitar) in great "you are there" sound quality.
Another is Charlie Musselwhite's Times Gettin' Tougher Than Tough, a direct-to-disc LP on Crystal Clear Records. If you have never heard a d-2-d LP, prepare to be stunned!
Another is the many albums Doug MacLeod has done for Audioquest Music, the first of which (I believe ) is entitled Come To Find, with Charlie Musselwhite blowin' harp.
A few by Albert King: Born Under A Bad Sign. Original LP on Stax Records, reissued by Sundazed. Then there is Blues For Elvis, which is Albert doing songs associated with Presley. Produced by the great Booker T & The MG's rhythm section of drummer Al Jackson, Jr. and bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn. Original LP on Stax Records, reissue (under the title King, Does The King's Things) by Vinyl Me Please. Mastered by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound, pressed on 180 gram vinyl (oh, the horror ;-) at QRP.
Perhaps more old school R & B than strictly Blues is Rhythm, Blues, Soul & Grooves by Bobby KIng and Terry Evans, the great duo whose singing talents are often used by Ry Cooder. Ry appears on this Rounder Records album, as does the great Spooner Oldham, member of Muscle Shoals' legendary studio band The Swampers. Spooner is also heard on Neil Young's Harvest album. Fantastic!
Anson Funderburgh "Talk to You by Hand"
1981/Black Top Records
Steve Phillips "Steel-Rail Blues"
If you aren't adverse to CD's, try to find a copy of Up The Line by The Gary Smith Blues Band. Gary is very well known in the San Francisco Bay Area Blues scene, and has the best harp tone I've ever heard, bar none. His mentor was Charlie Mussellwhite, and Gary's role model is The Master---Little Walter. Gary is the first harp player I played with, way back in 1969! He had just switched from drums, so we had that in common.
Gary's Facebook posts are usually about the latest tubes he has tried in his tube amps. He is VERY serious about the tone he creates, the mark of a superior musician (along with phrasing, and musicality).
The album also features great musical accompaniment from the best Blues players in the Bay Area (known locally as the Blues Mafia ;-). I've seen and heard him and they live, and if you live in the area, so should you.
Steve Howell and the Mighty Men.
ZUZU BOLLIN TEXAS BLUESMAN
A cast of thousands, including Duke Robillard and David "Fathead" Newman.
Antones Records & Tapes 1991
Notes: "An important chapter of Zuzu Bollin's history must be written in Austin. After hearing Zuzu in Dallas one night in 1988 Clifford Antone, owner of Antones's nightclub, befriended him and invited him to begin performing at his club....Antone made plans to record him, and you can hear the results on this record. Zuzu's story has a bittersweet ending. He died in 1990. That Zuzu did not live to complete the Antone's sessions is a great loss to us all, but thankfully we still have these wonderful recordings. Fans of Texas Blues owe a debt of gratitude to Chuck Nevitt and Clifford Antone for caring enough to capture Zuzu just the way he would have liked: Texas Style."
ANTONES is / was a well known blues club in Austin, Texas. He also owns / owned a record store that sold / sells blues CDs, LPs, Tapes and associated stuff. I spent many a dollar there. My routine was, Waterloo records, then walk a block to Tower Records, then walk a block to Antone's Blues record store. Those were the days.
Why Don't You Eat Where You Slept Last Night
Zuzu Bollin – Zu's Blues
Blues in the Dark
RESURRECTION OF THE BAYOU MAHARAJAH
Rounder Records 1993
Notes: "For Booker fans, then, this album and its companion (Spiders on the Keys, Rounder 2119) are cause for celebration. Here is James Booker as his New Orleans fans knew him--passionate and dazzling; alternately extroverted or painfully lost in his own world. For if James Carroll Booker lll was one of the greatest pianists of the century, he was also plagued by what many of his friends considered to be mental illness, and by a lifelong battle with drugs and alcohol (a problem Booker traced to his prescription after being hit by an ambulance when he was a boy)."
Real New Orleans music. You can hear the wooden floors.
Medley: Slow Down / Bony Maronie / Knock On Wood / I Heard It Through The Grapevine
Medley: Tico Tico / Papa Was A Rascal (Live At The Maple Leaf Bar, New Orleans, LA / 1977-1982)
St. James Infirmary (Live At The Maple Leaf Bar, New Orleans, LA / 1977-1982)
Medley: Life / Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee / It Should Have Been Me (Live At The Maple Leaf Bar, New...
Grew up w Clarence brown, buddy guy, Johnny winter, many many rare blues LPs’ from parents record collection.
Love blues,....blues strayed it all, no blues, no rock, no metal, it all stems from southern blues, Midwest blues, etc. !!
FIVE LONG YEARS
Boyd(piano, organ, vocals), Buddy Guy(guitar), Jimmy Robinson(bass), Fred Below(drums), Big Mama Thornton(vocal, Hound Dog)
Notes: "Eddie Boyd was born November 25, 1914 in Coahoma County, Mississippi and spent his childhood on the fabled Stovall's plantation in the heart of the Delta.... Boyd discovered his musical salvation when he journeyed overseas to co-headline the 1965 American Folk Blues Festival. During the historic European tour(produced by German promoters Horst Lippmann and fritz Raul), Boyd recorded the impressive contents of this disc in Hamburg and London, backed by three of the finest Chicago sidemen available. Fleet-fingered guitarist Buddy Guy, versatile bassist Jimmie lee Robinson, and crackling drummer Fred Below offer superb support as Boyd convincingly rolls through a virtual greatest hits program."
Five Long Yearshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hd3PwHujl4&list=OLAK5uy_kIDIqFdu4zUbCsYA_cSo8r7N93i3OnCEc
I'm coming homehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMqvSNPfWds
Blue Monday Blueshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWb7I5jcYrY
My recent record show purchase...
Steve Miller Band "Rock Love"
song..."Blues With Out Blame"
Buddy Guy and Junior Wells - Alone and Acoustic
This is going to be an excellent thread!
By the way: In early-67 (I think it was), a band I hadn't heard of came to play at The Continental in Santa Clara (a converted roller rink, complete with horrible acoustics) just off Highway 101. They were named The Steve Miller Blues Band, and had a rhythm guitar player who did no singing named Boz Scaggs. Their debut album hadn't yet been released.
Playing my newly acquired
John Lee Hooker"The Country Blues of..."
Craft Recordings From the original stereo master’s Kevin Grey 60th Anniversary
Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown
Gitanes Blues Productions 1997
He always said, "I was born in Louisiana and raised on the Texas side."
Wiki: Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown was an American musician from Louisiana and Texas known for his work as a blues musician, as well as other styles of music. He spent his career fighting purism by synthesizing old blues, country, jazz, Cajun music and R&B styles.
Born: April 18, 1924, Vinton, LA Died: September 10, 2005, Orange, TX
Take me back babyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrB7E8c8AiY
Bits and Pieceshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3Naz9HkFs4
Hey rok, when I saw this thread listed in the "suggested" list on the right side of my screen, I figured "Oh no, here's another source of fantastic music I've been unaware of." Very happy to see you just started this one and there are only 28 posts. Easier to stay current with than JFA. Thanks!
For me, this may still the most amazing blues performance ever. 100% Delta. Sheer passion, abandon, unbridled emotion:
Son House "Death Letter Blues" (live in Europe about 60 years ago)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdgrQoZHnNY
Son House - Death Letter Blues
Very Poignant Lyrics. He didn't receive a phone call, he didn't get in his car or board a bus. He got a letter and took off down the road. Speaks volumes about how some people lived.
SOUL OF THE BLUES
Black Top Records 1993
Solomon Vincent McDonald Burke was an American preacher and singer who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues as one of the founding fathers of soul music in the 1960s. -- wiki
Great Soul Singer, just talks too much. I guess that's the Preacher in him.
Along About Midnighthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dHWdhHUysQ
Good Rockin' Tonighthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoyV3ySzMlQ
LIVE AT ANTONE'S NIGHTCLUB
Antone's records & Tapes 1988
Notes: "Tunica, Mississippi sits about halfway between Helena, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee. During the Great depression, when James Cotton was growing up there, all three were 'ballin' towns' and regular stops for the Blues legends on their way north out of the Delta. By the time he was school age, James was dancing for tips on street corners in Tunica, on his way through Helena and Memphis to Chicago and international renown."
Born: July 1, 1935, Tunica, MS
Died: March 16, 2017, St. David's Medical Center, Austin, TX
Blow Wind Blowhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueRFln18jZoEyesight to the Blind
Hoochie Coochie Manhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szTVMZB_lSI
WAKE UP AND LIVE
Alligator Records 1996
Notes: "A musical genius excelling at vibrant and exuberant jump Blues, rockin' piano boogie and sophisticated West Coast Blues...impeccable piano technique, fabulous timing, and a voice like a fog horn." --- Living Blues
Born: February 8, 1929, Marshall, TX
Died: July 26, 2006, Orange County, CA
Wake Up and Livehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgtM-puhnXM
you know that'll get ithttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0xKHvha8-E
I wanna Rock Nowhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ne9UeUUz1E
Mike Flanigin "West Texas Blues"
Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets
featuring - Sam Myers
RACK ’EM UP
Black Top Records 1989
Notes: "Anson was born in Plano, Texas, in 1955, and grew up hearing Blues records at an early age. By the time Anson was sixteen years old he was playing professionally and recording with the regionally popular group known as the Bees Knees."
"Sam Myers hails from Jackson, Mississippi, where he began his professional career in the mid-fifties. Sam got a double dose of Blues from his earliest years as a musician when he spent most of his time in the musically fertile Mississippi Delta but spent summers on the Chicago Blues Scene."
Are You Out Therehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U02WiiXMQ-Y
Rack ’em Uphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a30nqTlqkDA
Tell Me What I Have Done Wronghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvxcrDcjtm4