What are the best blues bands these days

Blues music

1. Stevie Ray Vaughan: Couldn't Stand The Weather

'Couldn't Stand The Weather' by Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble 1984 was certainly not just a ticket to the blues world for me. The fast instrumental hit, Scuttle Buttin ‘‘, is unbeaten to this day.

Also great is the shuffling, Cold Shot ‘with the shimmering guitar sound or the drama in Stevie's version of Tin Pan Alley (aka Roughest Place In Town) die, which has something very unique. The licks just trickle out of the box and the Texan's finger vibrato is unbelievably present here, as in general. Hm, was there anything else? Right, with 'Voodoo Child (Slight Return)' the Stratplayer delivered a gripping interpretation of the Hendrix classic.

You can find out everything about Stevie Ray Vaughan and his legendary guitar playing on the large SRV topic page!

2. Johnny Winter: And

A good quarter of a century before Vaughan, another Texas blues man began to incorporate rock into his music. ,Live - Johnny Winter And ‘(1971) impresses with the incredible energy of the Firebird player and his rhythm section, which was supported here by Rick Derringer on second guitar. Both fast numbers like, Good Morning Little School Girl ‘and the blues ballad, It's My Own Fault‘ exude an incredible amount of dynamism. And over the top is the wild, rock and roll medley ‘. What a crisp Telecaster sound!

3. Albert Collins: Iceman

Albert Collins played on, Iceman ‘(1991) Funk, shuffles and slow blues that are bursting with energy. The man from Houston was an unorthodox guitarist, he usually used a capo and tuned his guitars in open F minor or D minor tunings. Must be heard ...

4. Freddie King: Larger Than Life

This also applies to, Larger Than Life ‘(1975) by Freddie King. His last album, released while he was still alive, offers a mix of live and studio recordings with everything he is known for: driving shuffles, funky stuff and atmospheric ballads. Everything is held together by a dynamic singer and virtuoso guitarist whose tone literally jumps on the listener. Freddie King was one of the best!

5. Buddy Guy: Sweet Tea

The legendary Buddy guymade an incredible comeback in the 1990s. But what he put on "Sweet Tea" in 2001 was a far cry from the good mood Chicago blues of previous albums.

Guy went far back, played solo on the acoustic or sounded incredibly fat and dark with a band behind him. Such a thing was usually only known from rudimentary colleagues like T-Model Ford. Buddy's Strat sounds as expressive as seldom on this album. The down home blues album for fans of Jon Spencer or The Black Keys.

6. Albert King: Born Under A Bad Sign

The ‘'66 classic, Born Under A Bad Sign‘ combines numerous hits from the blues giant Albert King. The left-hander played a Gibson Flying V, which he simply turned over so that the strings are in exactly the opposite order to the player. The contrast between the straight accompanying Booker T. & The MG’s and the sonorous singing style is appealing here. Musicians like Eric Clapton and SRVaughan were influenced by King's wide bendings and his funky touch. The full range of blues is available here, and the highlights include, among others. , Oh, Pretty Woman ‘and the driving force, The Hunter‘.

7. ZZ Top: Fandango!

ZZ top were always deeply rooted in the blues despite their comparable harder southern rock sound. , Fandango! ‘From 1975, about half of which consists of live recordings, offers some of the greatest blue songs by the bearded trio.

The openers, Thunderbird ‘and, Tush‘ with the greatest blues rock riff of all time are absolutely great. At least! And in 'Blue Jean Blues', Billy Gibbons coaxes some of his most intense licks from his guitar. An album that makes you happy.

Jam ZZ top hits with our JAM playalongs!

8. Muddy "Mississippi" Waters: Live

, Muddy "Mississippi" Waters Live shows an energetic live set by the Chicago Blues Masters with many hits such as, Mannish Boy ‘or, Baby, Please Don‘t Go‘. Sometimes unbelievable how impetuous Muddy Waters makes his Telecaster scream with the slide. Johnny Winter can not only be heard here as a guest musician, he also produced the album at the time.

9. Michael Hollywood Fats Man: Hollywood Fats Band

L.A. guitarist has only one albumMichael Hollywood Fats man published during his lifetime, and that is cult among blues connoisseurs. Hollywood Fats Band ‘(1979) ingeniously combined blues with 50s rockabilly and swing jazz in the tradition of T-Bone Walker. Fats plays with a thick sound and creates really fantastic double stops, chords, bends and virtuoso melody lines. The discovery tip, especially since the new edition contains a bonus CD.

10. Johnny Copeland: 92 album, Flyin ‘High

Texas Bluesman concludes our 10 tips for beginners, rediscoverers and advanced players Johnny Copeland with his ‘92 album, Flyin‘ High ‘. Straight shuffle and funk numbers as well as fantastic ballads, such as the soulful, Greater Man ‘, create a lot of fun. With Dr. John a trip to New Orleans and a Zydeco number with accordion accompaniment. Johnny played, Flyin ‘High in front of thick brass sections, a sharp guitar with a very special tone and timing in his fingers. And his voice here is incredibly penetrating. Great album to take off!

11. Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings

Let's take a leap back in time to the early days of the blues, to the man who, according to legend, sold his soul to the Beelzebub and received incredible guitar talents in return.

The double CD, The Complete Recordings ‘by Delta-Ikone Robert Johnson (* 1911 +1938) undoubtedly belongs in every serious blues household. His virtuoso technique, including bottleneck playing, still amazes generations of musicians today, such as the young Keith Richards in the 60s, who once said about his first encounter with the blues giant: “I heard two guitars and it took a long time I noticed that he actually played everything by himself. "

Johnson was a one-man show with a memorable vocal timbre that immortalized classics like 'Sweet Home Chicago', 'Rambling On My Mind', 'Love In Vain' and, of course, 'Cross Road Blues' - and those have been and are being covered over and over again. Sure, listening pleasure is primarily something for purists, but if you want to immerse yourself in the subject, you cannot avoid the mythically charged Robert Johnson.

12. Eric Clapton: Slowhand

Also the aspiring British guitarist Eric Clapton He liked to be inspired by Mr. Johnson. Opinions tend to differ about “Slowhand”: Is he really the guitar god or is he just hopelessly overrated? Clapton had already established his reputation as a profound blues guitarist with the Yardbirds.

Find out more about Mr. Slowhand on the Eric Clapton Topic Page!

13. John Mayalls: Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton

On John Mayalls He delivered his blue masterpiece, Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton ‘in 1966, for example with Freddie Kings, Hideaway‘ and the furious, Steppin ‘Out‘. In addition, Eric created one of the classic guitar sounds in rock history, which resulted from the combination of a Gibson Les Paul with a Marshall-Bluesbreaker combo, also known as the "Beano sound" (in reference to the comic of the same name, with the Clapton can be seen on the album cover).

14. Junior Wells: Hoodoo Man Blues

, Hoodoo Man Blues ‘by singer and harp icon Junior Wells is considered the first long play album (LP) by a Chicago blues band. Wells' dynamic vocal lines, like his rich harp sound, are fantastic. He was accompanied by a great rhythm section with Billy Warren on drums, Jack Myers on bass and guitarist Buddy Guy, whose expressive personal style can already be clearly seen. He's really firing some great and wild licks here. And there is this gripping overall atmosphere that the recordings radiate. Pure Chicago blues!

15. T-Bone Walker: Call It Stormy Monday

The 2000 compilation, The Very Best Of T-bone walker‘Brings together the greatest single hits by the Texas bluesman from 1945 to 1960. The pioneer of the modern blues guitar opened the door to jazz with his harmoniously spectacular licks and swinging timing. And as a composer, he has created blues songs to last, especially Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just As Bad) ‘or the great, T-Bone Shuffle‘. He was also a showman who was one of the first in his guild to play his guitar behind his head. T-Bone was an idol that musicians like Chuck Berry and B.B. King influenced.

16. B.B. King:Live At The Regal

And that brings us to the reigning King of the Blues: Mr. B.B. King! , Live At The Regal ‘is a top album by the master and the blues in general. The recording from November 21, 1964 from the Regal Theater Chicago conveys a plastic atmosphere! The band of the blues king swings like hell and lets the audience (which is easy to hear) go crazy with ballads like "Sweet Little Angel" or John Lee Hookers, It's My Own Fault ". The dynamics of his voice are so captivating - a good 60 years later you can hardly avoid it. And what the Blues Boy pulled off on his semi-acoustic Lucille is fantastic. Each lick in itself is like a statement, played intensely and very inspiring. "How Blue Can You Get?" Sings Mr. King, more is hardly possible than on this album.

Learn more about B.B. King and his legendary guitar playing!

17. John Lee Hooker: Boom Boom

Or is it? Boogie boss John Lee Hooker started his career in the 1940s and was one of the big names in the blue world very early on. He experienced an incredible comeback at the end of the 80s, and Boom Boom ‘was one of a number of artistically and commercially successful albums in 1992.

The Hook presents its old hits again in a new guise with a grooving band behind them to a young, up-and-coming blues audience. His haunting voice gives you goose bumps, and it's amazing how funky his licks and riffs sound.

Two guest guitarists of the new blues generation, Jimmy Vaughan and Robert Cray, as well as tele-master Albert Collins refined three songs here. Highlights also include Hooker's solo numbers, I‘m Bad Like Jesse James ‘and, Sugar Mama‘.

Albert Collins and Robert Cray were also together with Johnny Copeland 1985 on, Showdown! ‘United in a very special summit meeting. Collins ‘explosive tele-licks, Cray's fluid Strat lines and Copeland's Texas style - there is something for everyone!

18. Albert King With Stevie Ray Vaughan

,Albert King With Stevie Ray Vaughan‘Documents the encounter between two other blues giants on a TV show, recorded on December 6, 1983. Stevie looks downright intimidated and left the stage to his great idol. It's astonishing and interesting to hear how much the bendings and intonation of the two are similar.

19. Lance Lopez: Salvation From Sundown

After so much great history, let's move on to the future of guitar blues. The Texas guitarist & singer Lance Lopez presents its own rocking variant on, Salvation From Sundown ‘. With a fat, distorted guitar sound, he moves virtuously in a power trio between models such as SRV and ZZ Top. Absolutely sharp when he plays punchy rhythm riffs with his rough vocals or almost loses himself in virtuoso wild solos, including a thick note in his fingers.

20. Gary Clark Jr .: The Bright Lights EP

With his incredibly intense guitar style he becomes a front man Gary clark jr from Austin, Texas for the blues scene perhaps to what slide miracle Derek Trucks currently represents for the southern rock community: A guitarist deeply rooted in his tradition who effortlessly pushes his own genre boundaries. 'The Bright Lights EP' (2011) only offers four songs, but they are really tough: The band has driving funk rock with 60s vibes and hot juke-joint blues, and Gary presents a jazzed-up ballad solo and a folky number.

You really have to hear how this man with the touch of his finger brings his very own tone and expression out of his semi-acoustic red Epiphone Casino! With Clark's current album, Blak And Blu ‘, great things are in store for the blues ‘n‘ rock world.

Well, breakfast time, according to the above considerations, what felt like 100 albums from the huge blues river did not appear again this time. A few quick tips for further immersion:

  • Little Smokey Smothers: Bossman - The Chicago Blues Of Little Smokey Smothers
  • Otis Rush & Friends: Live At Montreux 1986
  • Michael Burks: Iron Man
  • Luther Allison: Reckless
  • Doyle Bramhall II & Smokestack: Welcome
  • John Lee Hooker: The Healer
  • B.B. King: One Kind Favor
  • R.L. Burnside: Burnside On Burnside
  • Buddy Guy: Damn Right, I've Got The Blues
  • Boo Boo Davis: Ain‘t Gotta Dime
  • Jimmy Vaughan: Out There

Have fun listening to the blues!

Text: Arnd Müller (published in Guitar & Bass 06/2013)