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The Blues


Ishmael
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I was at a house party on Friday where blues was used as the background music for most of the night and I loved it.  I want to really get into and become a blues connoisseur, but I could do with a general overview of the blues landscape.  Pointing out which types of blues there are, which artists to look out for in each strand etc.  I figured there had to be a at least one blues fan on here...

 

And yep, feel free to merge this with a music thread, but at least give me a few hours to get some front page advertising... 

Also, if there is already a thread, please be a smarmy cunt and link me to it in a condensing way, thanks.

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I'm not connoisseur of blues by any stretch of the imagination but I also play blues when people are over at my house.  I generally stick with Buddy Guy radio on Spotify and there is a great mix of songs on there. 

 

Like you've stated, there are a crazy amount of sub genres in the blues area ranging from Delta Blues to Texas Blues and everything in between.

 

I'd love to see some people post in here that know more than me so I can learn some, as I really do enjoy the blues.

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Guest Open_C

Electric or acoustic?

 

I only like acoustic, which admittedly a lot of people find less easy to appreciate than the electric stuff, but if you want a sampler of that sort of stuff, have a try of:

 

Mance Lipscomb - Charley James

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mb0foEambiY

 

Robert Johnson - Sweet Home Chicago

 

And my favourite, Mississippi John Hurt.  Lovely soft voice, lovely soft songs.

 

Mississippi John Hurt - Pay Day

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-p214l5QLI

 

Mississippi John Hurt - Louis Collins

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO9W4ix--eg

 

Will post some more (tomorrow) if that sort of thing appeals, which it might well not.. if you're thinking more of Hendrix and John Lee Hooker, I can't be much help :)  I started out with the electric stuff but lost interest in it years and years ago.

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If you're into guitar based electric blues:

 

Muddy Waters (Jimmy Rodgers guitar)

Howlin' Wolf (Hubert Sumlin guitar)

The three kings: Albert, B.B. (Live at the Regal is a must), and Freddie

Albert Collins

Buddy Guy

Magic Sam

Otis Rush

John Lee Hooker

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Listen to the Robert Johnson recordings. You may as well start with the foundations and just listen to everyone you can. Bo Diddley, BB King, Howlin Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson. You can't miss.

 

Both of them :)

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Also, how has no one mentioned Stevie Ray Vaughan yet?  Absolute best voice in the blues (in my opinion).

 

A few of my favorite contemporary blues records are John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton, Couldn't Stand The Weather by SRV (especially the "Legacy Edition" Disc 2 which is a live set from Montreal, essential listening if you ask me), and In Session with SRV and Albert King.  In Session is particularly cool because they tell some old stories and SRV plays a song in the style of Jimi - who used to play the blues with Albert in San Francisco.

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Listened to all the links posted so far whilst working this afternoon. 

 

Loved: Blind Boy Fuller, Mississippi John Hurt

Enjoyed: Skip James, Dave Van Ronk, Mississippi John Hurt

Fine: Elmore James, Blind Blake, Robert Johnson, Mance Lipscomb

Not enjoyed: Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, Rev. Gary Davis, The Allman Brothers Band

 

Will post some actual thoughts later tonight, but now I must dash.

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Listened to all the links posted so far whilst working this afternoon. 

 

Loved: Blind Boy Fuller, Mississippi John Hurt

Enjoyed: Skip James, Dave Van Ronk, Mississippi John Hurt

Fine: Elmore James, Blind Blake, Robert Johnson, Mance Lipscomb

Not enjoyed: Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, Rev. Gary Davis, The Allman Brothers Band

 

Will post some actual thoughts later tonight, but now I must dash.

 

OK, so I cannot tell you  much about the specifics of the songs I loved and the songs I did not enjoy.  Generally, I prefer electric, but there are definitely acoustic songs that I really enjoy also, but that field is smaller - I think.  Will skip through the songs again.

 

I guess Truckin' My Blues Away epitomizes the acoustic sound I prefer.  Very simple structure, minimal effort on the vocals, sounds really carefree and effortless.  Reckon I could listen to it for hours on repeat and end up in a zen-like state of pure content.  I've got Howlin Wolf on a Blues collection CD I picked up for a couple of quid from a car boot a few months back.  Amazing vocals.  Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry was a bit too up tempo for me.  Much prefer a rawer, simpler sound.  On the opposite end of my original thoughts, The Allman Brothers Band song has struck a much nicer sounding chord with me on my second listen.  Still, Rev. Gary Davis rambled along a bit too much for my preferences.

 

Link me with some 'lectric!  Oh, and I used the Spotify station recommended up the page when I went for a run earlier.    Not the Blues, of course, but Johnny B. Goode kicked in as I started my final assent.  Brilliant!  Spent the final sprint convinced that I was Marty :lol:

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