Looking for Blues with High Fidelity

I recently listened to Eric Clapton’s “Me and Mr. Johnson” and really appreciated the guitar playing and the quality of the recording.  What are some of your favorite Blues recordings?


I would suggest eschewing any expectation of elite engineering with this type of music.

Late-1920s-through-mid-1960s recordings of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Son House, Blind Willie McTell, Charley Patton, Huddie Ledbetter, Blind Willie Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Robert Johnson, Skip James, Reverend Gary Davis, Mississippi Fred McDowell and others are the cream of the crop. Recording quality ranging from rough to acceptable.

If I could have a fast food chain (Stevie Ray Vaughn, Joe Bonamassa, Eric Clapton) or real Mexican food, I’ll take the real deal any time.

No amount of slick audio engineering can transform a pretender into a contender.




Mighty Sam McClain, especially “Give it up For Love”

Rocky Athas, especially “Shakin’ the Dust”.

Walter Trout

Recorded on the Telarc lable, Junior Wells, Come On In This House, and Everybody Getting Some, represent one of the masters of Chicago Blues at his finest.  Absolute musts for anyone who loves the blues.  Also, Johnny Winter's LP Roots is a classic.  

The Empress of the Blues; The Complete Bessie Smith on Frog Records.


Columbia released a Complete Bessie Smith box set years ago. If you own the Columbia box set, sell it and start collecting these Frog volumes instead!