Who is THE acoustic blues king?

A discussion of the blues for blues lovers and fans.

RE: It's a tuff one, but....

Postby slidnslim » Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:25 am

>it's gotta be Son House. The question is not who was the
>greatest acoustic blues guitar player (which he certainly
>wasn't). But if there was ever a pure personification of
>the blues in its rawest, lowest-common-denominator form,
>with the most tortured, gut-wrenching vocal power, it must
>have been Son House.

Well said Chilly,I agree!

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RE: ha

Postby lightninboy » Wed Feb 09, 2005 11:29 pm

For me, Son House's Death letter Blues is about as good as it gets on a National.(Real nasty).

But I prefer to listen to Robert Johnson.
I get shivers when he sings, and I find his playing hard or even impossible to emulate.

Hey, why didn't blind Willie Johnson make the list.
He get's my vote for best slide vibrato.

Really, I love all of the early blues players, they all have something to offer.
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RE: ha

Postby rustyslide » Thu Feb 10, 2005 2:25 pm

>But I prefer to listen to Robert Johnson.
>I get shivers when he sings, and I find his playing hard or
>even impossible to emulate.

Check out the 'Slide & Bottleneck' and 'Talking Blues' fora for some interesting discussions of Robert Johnson slowed down.

ramble ramble ramble
I got ramblin' on my mind.

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Postby bighollowtwang » Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:45 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Feb-15-05 AT 12:35 PM (EST)]Son House 17 votes, 37% Vote for this choice
Robert Johnson 10 votes, 22% Vote for this choice
Charlie Patton 7 votes, 15% Vote for this choice
Lightnin' Hopkins 8 votes, 17% Vote for this choice
Mississippi John Hurt

I love Son House's music (hell I try to cover some of his stuff) but rating him over Charley Patton? I dunno...out of all the names listed in this poll his music is by FAR the hardest to perform. He is a polyrhythmic genius as far as I'm concerned. The beauty of his music is the rhythmic interplay between his voice and guitar, like the left & right hands of a drummer. His music took me the longest time to appreciate, but in the long run I think it is the most rewarding.

Robert Johnson might be "king" in terms of popularity, but I would definitely say Charley Patton was the more influential and revolutionary musician. When I say influential, I mean as an influence to other blues musicians, not white rock stars a la Clapton. Patton's music takes much more effort to learn and play than Robert Johnson's, in my opinion. I have learned a bunch of Patton tunes and a bunch of Robert Johnson tunes and frankly Johnson's tunes take considerably less effort to decipher. I am not saying I've "mastered" anything here (by no means!) - it's just that Johnson's rhythmic sense is much more "straight" and unaccented than Patton's.

As for John Hurt, I love his sound but to me it's barely on the periphery of blues, it's a great style but I'd call him more of a songster than bluesman.

In my opinion Lightnin Hopkins' best stuff was his late 40's-mid 50's electric guitar work for small labels like Herald, I am not as enthusiastic about his post-'59 acoustic stuff. Still, he's great.
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