I need help on blues

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I need help on blues

Postby Willard on Mon Jun 27, 2005 1:19 am

Hey all, I've just realized how terrible I am in the fields of Blues genre. Even though I love jazz albums like Bitches Brew and A Love Supreme but when it comes to blues I don't know where to start.

What are some really good albums to listen? (not to start with, if you know what I mean...)

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Postby Box Of Rain on Mon Jun 27, 2005 6:03 am

Well, liking jazz really doesn't guarantee you'll like the blues... I mean, a lot of people lump them together, but in truth, they're complete opposites - Jazz is improvisational and has the loosest, most sprawling structures in all music next to classical, maybe. Blues is probably the most rigidly constructed, repetitive genre of music... I can't really dig it myself. Cept when a circa 67 Jorma is playing it. THEN I pay attention. but I guess most girls would.

But if you wanna listen to good blues, I suppose you can't go wrong with some B.B. King, and Bessie Smith was supposed to be the greatest blues singer of all time. There's leadbelly, too, although he sorta crosses into the folkish side of things. Wish I could help ya more. Hope this is of some use.
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Postby Whenheco on Mon Jun 27, 2005 10:52 am

Don't like jazz but love the blues. You don't even need an instrument to play the blues, just a trashcan will do 8)
Some blues giants you can start out with :
Albert King
Howlin' Wolf
Muddy Waters
John Lee Hooker
Bo Diddley
Wilie Dixon
Chuck Berry
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Postby Don Rico on Mon Jun 27, 2005 1:08 pm

One word:


Tha don says "Check it out"...
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Postby Willard on Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:36 pm

Thanks guys. 8)
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Postby briank on Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:30 pm

Don Rico is right- Robert Johnson is practically the creator of the blues, and while his stuff is a bit repetitive, you'll recognize a bunch of his songs, because they've been covered by other artists. He led a strange life, too- rumor has it he sold his soul to the devil at a crossroads to become great at the guitar, but then supposedly died walking around on all fours and slobbering like a dog. It's a shame there's only about 30 songs (I think) by him, and they are all very rough. I think there are only two photos of him.
I would check out Robert Johnson just to hear the roots of the blues. Here's some other good blues musicians (other then those already mentioned), just off the top of my head.
Chuck Berry- He turned blues into rock and roll. Most of his songs follow the same format (kinda like Robert Johnson from above), but it's fun and more faster-paced.

Little Walter- one of the first to "electrify" the harmonica- very cool stuff. I have his CD called "Little Walter: His Best" (And notice he actually spells out the "Little" in his name!). Nice guitar work by his supporting band too. He worked with the Chess record label- check them out, because a lot of big blues musicians worked with Chess.

George Thorogood and the Destroyers- more modern (70s to present), but faithful to the blues. I love his slide guitar work, but his cover of the song "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" is really awesome.

Led Zeppelin- No bull! A lot of 60s/70s bands covered old blues songs. Zeppelin's blues songs are scattered throughout their records. My personal favorites are "Hats off to Roy Harper" (a sweet song with slide guitar and Robert Plant's vocals treated electronically to waver in volume- another version of this can be found at one of the major Zeppelin websites, but I'm not sure which), Robert Johnson's "Travelling Riverside Blues" (another great slide guitar piece), and "I Can't Quit You Baby" (awesome guitar riffs by Page).

I know that's a lot of. . . variety, but I listened to a lot of blues music before arriving in the world of psychedelia. Once you hear that very simple blues shuffle, you'll recognize it in a lot of music, and you can hear the bluesiness in a lot of JA's music.
I say try out all types of blues music- acoustic, electric, slide, harmonica, etc as well as different locations of music- Chicago, the "Delta," etc. I hope this little list helps you out!
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Postby Bloodshed Bob on Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:49 am

I thought Robert Johnson was poisoned by his wife.

But you are right about the 2 photos... long time it was believed there was only 1, until a few years ago another photo was discovered.

The Famous One


The 'New' One


If you have seen 'Oh Brother Where Art Thou?' from the Coen brothers, all this will sound a bit familiar.
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Postby JPPMcStepBBlues on Thu Jun 30, 2005 4:12 am

listen to Canned Heat or some John Lee Hooker
If you were a cloud and you sailed up there,
You sail on water as blue as air;
You'd see me here in the fields and say,
"Doesn't the sky look green today?"
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Postby BlackCladLizard on Mon Jul 04, 2005 3:08 pm

Is there blues that sounds very much like Jimi Hendrix's Red House. If so let me know.
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