My friend Dick Brunning got me into the Blues when I was fourteen. He would endlessly play Lightnin’ Hopkins and Howlin’ Wolf with a bit of John Lee Hooker thrown in. I became hooked.
Here are my favourites:
John Lee Hooker
Sonny Boy Williams
Little Walter Jacobs
I enjoyed the Blues of Howlin’ Wolf so much yesterday that I thought I’d follow it up with a bit of Muddy Waters. I was lucky enough to see him live a few times in the 60s and 70s. I would have loved to have seen him live in the 50s in one of those steamy Chicago dives!!
Muddy Waters Mannish Boy (Full album) – YouTube
I love the Country Blues and was fortunate enough to see a lot of these guys when they were dug out of oblivion in the late 60s to find themselves revered by a white audience in Europe.
They had these blues Festivals. They were so good!
Dick Brunning. a school friend of mine, introduced me to the Blues when I was 14. I’m forever grateful.
These are my favourites:
John Lee Hooker
Sleepy John Estes
Mississippi Fred McDowell
Peg Leg Howell
Mississippi John Hurt
Blind Lemon Jefferson
Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee
R L Burnside
Blind Willie Mctell
Memphis Jug Band
Just writing about the Swamp Blues left me with a lust for a bit of Slim Harpo!!!
Slim Harpo – Shake Your Hips.wmv – YouTube
This is an easy one. Way back in the 60s I discovered this wonderful album called Swamp Blues. It featured all these guys. They recorded down in Louisiana in bayou country – swamp country. There stuff was on the Excello label produced by J.D. Jay Miller and has a distinctive swampy feel based around that infectious Jimmy Reed beat. I loved it.
I loved those names too. They were magical! That album was special.
Then my daughter moved to Baton Rouge with her job and I was able to check it all out. I tracked down Slim Harpos grave!
Back in London I found Lazy Lester playing in some obscure club and took my youngest son along to see him. A great evening!
The swamp Blues was important. It was covered by the Stones, Kinks and Yardbirds! But the originals are best!
This is always dicey. I always miss someone good off!
Don Van Vliet
Lennon and McCartney
Buffy St Marie
Most of them had something to say for themselves and wrote with depth and meaning. I like that!
OK – who did I miss out? Who would feature on your list?
Whatever music I get into I always go back to the Blues. Robert Johnson was so good!!
Robert Johnson – The Best Of Vol 1 (Full Album / Album complet) – YouTube