Joe Bonamassa rules! I will get to see him live in concert on Tuesday. Can't wait. Should be a killer show.
I also really like a CD called "Girls With Guitars". These chicks can really play and sing.
try some some BB King, John lee Hooker, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Muddy waters and some Eva Cassidy. You won't go wrong.
Buy as much John Lee Hooker as you can find.
is a great blues label.
Albert Collins and Ice Breakers are pretty darn awesome!
Highly recommend Jimmy Smith's album The Cat, no body has played the Hammond B3 organ like him before or since.
Blues covers a range of music, as reflected in some of the posts made here so far. Joey B. is electric blues reminiscent of Clapton in the formative years (although Joey has gotten too hard rock for me, still love him, and have seen him a bunch of times). John Lee Hooker is old school and lasted a long time. Here are a few recommendations, off the top of my head:
HooDoo Man Blues- Junior Wells and Buddy Guy- if you are a vinyl guy, go for the audiophile 45 rpm pressing. You can smell the cigarette smoke in the room, this album has all of the vibe of a blues bar in the early 60's. (not that I was spending time in them then);
Muddy Waters- find a collection of his earlier stuff from the Chess era. Ditto on Howlin' Wolf and Little Walter. If you like harmonica, Sonny Boy Williamson II (there was a Sonny Boy Williamson I).
Early Stuff, acoustic, delta, country blues: Skip James, Big Bill Broonzy, Son House, Blind Willie Johnson ("Dark was the Night" and "It's Nobody's Fault but Mine"); Bukka White ("Shake 'em on Down"), just to name a few (and there were many who are just as good, I am leaving out the obvious, R Johnson, but you will know Crossroads, at least, which is attributed to him). The early stuff, at least on the early recordings, is not sonically spectacular, but hugely musical.
Female Vocal: Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Big Mama Thornton, some Etta James, Janis Joplin.
Almost every electric blues artist from the 60's either 'borrowed' or acknowledged their direct influence by earlier artists, so you can work through Cream, Jimi, early Peter Green Fleetwood Mac, Led Zep, Johnny Winter, and get solid harder edged blues that has antecedents. For example, Junior Kimbrough was a big influence on Black Keys, so if you like them, you'll probably like Junior.
Jimi's Red House on Concert in the West is brilliant.
Try creating a blues channel on Pandora and you'll be exposed to alot.
There is also alot of literature to read and if you are interested, I can recommend some books.
Makes sure to explore different styles of Blues and acoustic vs electric. There is a lot of variety. Here are some artists to pursue (certainly NOT an exhaustive list). I've listed one or two album titles, too, as good starting points:
Butler, Wild Child - Wild Child Butler
Dixon, Willie - The Blues Every Which Way (with Memphis Slim)
Guy, Buddy - Going Back to Acoustic
Hammond, John - So many roads
Hooker, John Lee - Boogie Chillin' | Get back home in the U.S.A. | Sings the Blues (Thats my story)
Hopkins, Lightnin' - Goin' Away | Lightnin'
House, Son - Father of the Delta Blues
Hurt, Mississippi John - The Best of Mississippi John Hurt
Johnson, Robert - King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. I
Lenoir, JB - Alabama Blues
Slim, Memphis -
Waters, Muddy - Folk Singer | Sings Big Bill Broonzy
Wells, Junior - Hoodoo Man Blues
Williamson, Sonny Boy - Keep It To Ourselves | The Real Folk Blues
Enjoy your explorations!
Danny Gatton doesn't get the credit he deserves, but I think he is great despite never knowing anyone else who listens to him. He only had a few albums before he killed himself, but they are all great.
Ruston, looks like we overlapped.:)
As mentioned in a previous post check out Alligator Records. They provide 30 second samples on many recordings.
Don't dismiss ZZ Top's first 2 recordings!
Muddy Waters Folk Singer 45RPM by Quality Pressings.
Ether, for a different take on the blues try Otis Taylor. He calls his music trance blues and his main instrument is the banjo. I too like Eric Bibb-I only have one of his CD's called "Troubador Live" which has Staffan Astner as a guest guitarist. I play it for guests and they always like it.
Mississippi John Hurt or Sonny Terry/Brownie McGhee would be a great listen for one who enjoyed Eric Bibb.By all means get some samplers Vanguard Records have good notes which should help you.The problem with asking for recommendations here is that people just tout their favorites and don't consider where you entered this journey (Eric Bibb).Go to the public library and see if they have any blues comps on CD.Or buy used.
For acoustic...lightning Hopkins...good as it gets
Stevie Ray Vaughan, the best of the modern blues players, unfortunately and sadly gone. Hendrix, Blues album for a start. Eric Clapton, blues collection, Crossroads box, Layla and other love songs, or Journeyman. Allman Brothers, Live at the Fillmore or Eat a Peach or get the latest of their albums from the newer version of the band. Johnny Winter, And Live or his first or second album. King Biscuit Boy. Otis Rush. Rory Gallagher, Live in Europe or Irish Tour. Warren Haynes (member of new Allman Brothers, along with Derek Trucks/Tedeshi band). Richard Thompson (ok not really the blues but so great, try The Old Kit Bag or Shoot out the lights). Um, the Stones from the beginning through Some Girls.
Paul Butterfield Band-Live, Buddy Guy-This Is Buddy Guy, Howlin Wolf-The London Sessions,James Cotton Band-The James Cotton Blues Band, Elmore James-Got To Move,Robert Johnson-The Complete Recordings, Alberet King-Born Under A Bad Sign and King Albert, Freddie King:1934-1976,Little Milton-Hittin the Boogie,Magic Sam-Live at the Ann Arbor Blues Festival, Mayall,Ray Charles-The Genius Sings the Blues,Jimmy Reed-Upside Your Head, Roy Rogers-Slidewinder, Muddy Waters-I'm Ready, Muddy Waters with Howlin Wolf-Muddy and the Wolf,Sonny Boy Williamson-Keep It To Ourselves, Memphis Slim-At The Gate of Horn,Eric Bibb-Booker's Guitar, Joe Bonamassa-Live From the Royal ALbert Hall, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown-Standing My Ground, Roy Buchanan-That's What I'm Here For, Albert Collins-Ice Pickin, Robben Ford-Talk To Your Daughter,John Hammond-You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover, Alvin Youngblood Hart-Motivational Speaker, Lightnin Hopkins-The Complete Aladdin Recordings, Keb' Mo'-Keep It SImple, Lightnin' Malcolm-Juke Joint Dance Party,Lonnie Mack-Attack of the Killer V,Otis Taylor-Below The Fold and Clovis People Vol. 3, Alligator 20th Anniversary compilation. You choose, but that should get you started-tried to pick out some stuff different from what others had listed. Happy listening!
Ray Bailey "Satan's Horn", ca. 1995. If you can find it, buy it.
I agree with Tpreaves about Alligator Records, and highly recommend their Anniversary Collections with various artists. Theyre available on Amazon - a lot of great classic Blues for very little money.
i second Muddy Waters "folk singer"
Try it NewOrleans style with Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton Play The Blues. Outstanding.
Many great recommendations...
I'd add Roy Buchanan.
Here's a link to Wikipedia about Danny Gatton
If someone says they like Eric Bibb how many degrees of separation does it take to get to Roy Buchanan or Danny Gatton?
i saw Roy Buchanan open for Lowell George and little feat.
I think it cost a buck, with a college ID.
I like all these recommendations.
let's not forget gary moore and still got blues.
love that album jacket.
Didn't realize MrMitch had already mentioned Roy Buchanan. So a 2nd vote for Roy. Another on the electric blues side of things is Robert Cray.
I love Delta blues and Country blues
more generally. I tend to like albums with one man, one instrument, and no amplification. My favorite blues album is probably John Lee Hooker's Country Blues
Other albums I really like...
John Lee Hooker, Burning Hell
Pink Anderson, Carolina Blues Man, vol. 1
Lightnin Hopkins, Country Blues
Fred McDowell, The First Recordings
Son House, Original Delta Blues
Robert Johnson, The Complete Recordings
Big Bill Broonzy, Trouble in Mind
Muddy Waters, Folk Singer
Robert Pete Williams, Free Again
Skip James, Hard Time Killing Floor Blues
Johnny Winter.. smokes em all on Guitar.
Just heard Johnny W. about a month ago at the Turning Point in Piermont
NY. He was totally on top of his instrument- he is a legendary player who
can still play well. The room holds maybe 100 people if you include the
folks sitting at the bar. I highly recommend this venue to anybody in the
greater NY metro area.
Another great, great player, although not a blues guy, per se, is Johnny A,
out of Boston, who does these Wes Montgomery style jazz licks then
layers hard, ripping rock leads on top (His bass player is also phenomenal).
We were in Memphis a few months ago, and I guess being a tourist, I was
disappointed that there was very little in the way of old style country or
delta blues. There was one guy playing hard rock style blues who was first
Did catch an old timer a few years ago named Satan. He was a street
musician, who, with a little help from a blues harp player, put together a
very solid stage act. The harp player was first rate. Best though, was the
guy helping them load in and out. He had a T-shirt that said: "Satan's
Too bad Johnny almost has to be carried out onto the stage these days. First time I heard him live was in 1968. He played lots of Rolling stones and Chuck Berry music throughout the years and did it alot better than they did. Sure wish I could afford a nice Erlewine Lazer guitar like his.
Joe bonamassa, A.C. Reed, anything Hooker, SeaSick Steve, Luther Allison, Little Ed, and ....Hell listen to it ALL!!!
A few years ago I picked up the (at the time)latest CD by Johnny Winter, 'I'm A Bluesman'. It was truly painful to listen to. I'll add that I was a major Winter fan back in the day, saw Johnny 5-6 times and Edgar 10-11!(Edgar's still a killa!). I've always felt that JW had one of the great R&R/Blues voices, instantly recognizable to me. In that last recording I've mentioned, his voice was GONE. So I'm glad to hear he's still making music-lovers happy!
Big +1 on Johnny A., seen him twice, own two of his records, great stuff!
Has anyone mentioned T-Bone Walker?
Good call on T-Bone. When i first started listening to him as a teenager, i thought he was this old blues guy. Little did i know he was a huge entertainer back in the day, with band, show and dance moves.
His style is often imitated, but...
I don't know what it is about T-Bone but he is one of my all-time favorites. His 1950s re-recordings are as great as his originals from the 1940s, IMO. There is a rawness and aliveness to his sound that makes his records always seem fresh to me. I never get bored listening to T-Bone Walker.
'Chicago The Blues Today' Nice 3 disc set by real bluesmen. Can be purchased single or in a 3cd set. Filled with the great songs by the great players. On Amazon.
Blue Rider Trio (Harp, Steel & Guts) on Mapleshade Records
Robert Lucas (Luke & the Locomotives) on JVC XRCD
Both of these are exceptionaly well recorderd and mastered blues releases
and if you got sick of the classic blues find earlyer albums of black keys and check R. L. Burnside...these 2 would be a little raw garage blues...and on the otherside on some stuff you can feel the mississipi swamp...and john lee hooker as someone mention...
There is also a rendition of First Time i met the Blues by Buddy Guy that
was recorded live, and is included on the soundtrack of a movie about the
Chicago blues that was produced a long time ago. The soundtrack is
available as a download, and a CD, i'm not sure about the vinyl- doubt it
was reissued. I don't have that Chicago Blues today three record set, so i'm
not sure if this track is on there. The movie it was in, and the soundtrack it
is from is called "Chicago Blues." It is a really good version of that tune, and
Buddy is happenin'.
He's coming soon to Tarrytown Music Hall, near us, hope to catch him.
Sabai- i agree- T-Bone is the best. That whole 1/2 step up-down diminished
and those single note lead lines so define him. I bought my first T-bone
record when i was still barely out of high school; i also have that Mosaic set
on vinyl that is easily 15 years-oops, just checked- 22 years old.
I always hear players doing a Tbone kinda thing.
How about some british blues?
Savoy Brown collection, any volume.
For something a little psychedelic as well, "cricklewood green"
by ten years after.
yea, Mapman. That whole UK blues movement that started in the early 60's and recognized what most American listeners didn't or couldn't at the time, from their own music legacy (maybe due in part to the fact that the music didn't typically cross racial lines on mainstream stations) and brought us a slew of great performing artists and recordings from the UK. You are gonna make me pull out some of these and listen to them later tonite.
Juat getting into blues now, but I have had a good start lately on vinyl:
Mississippi John Hurt "Last Sessions"
Muddy Waters "Live at Newport 1960"
John Lee Hooker "The Real Folk Blues"
GEt your hands on the Chess Willie Dixon boxed set. That's all you need to know everything you need to know. It covers many artists, many decades, many styles and is authentic.
Then you can buy anything else you need.