Who is THE acoustic blues king?

A discussion of the blues for blues lovers and fans.

RE: ha

Postby blueswriter » Fri Jan 09, 2004 6:40 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jan-09-04 AT 01:41 PM (EST)]"As great as Son House was, his guitar playing was primitive compared to Blind Blake and Lonnie Johnson. You can't really pick just one "greatest" or "king." Some were better singers than others. Some were technically better players than others. And there are all kinds of styles or prewar blues. Or is this poll about who the most influental prewar player was? There was an interesting article in Living Blues a couple of issues ago arguing that Leroy Carr was the most important prewar player."

Anybody can pick anyone they want as "king" or the "greatest." It's what a person's playing or singing does to an individual who's listening. Son House said electric blues was "monkey junk" but does that mean I'm gonna agree with that just because it comes from the man I consider the do-all and end-all of Delta Blues? I listen to Charley Patton and love his stuff, same with Robert Johnson (although the stretch to Al DiMeola is a bit much!), and Hambone Willie Newbern. But, to me, as Allan said, Son House is blues distilled to its purest form and function. There's no tricks, no impressing the peoples, no high-falootin' razmatazz - it's just the greatest blues there is... for me.

BW
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RE: ha

Postby allanlummox » Fri Jan 09, 2004 6:40 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jan-09-04 AT 01:41 PM (EST)]Boz...I may be the wrong guy to ask.

My Delphi has dents where I beat on it with the slide, and I demolish strings fast...

Those guitars are tough, and they invite abuse...I'm afraid to pick up my fragile little Gibson after I've been playing the National.
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RE: ha

Postby boz » Fri Jan 09, 2004 6:46 pm

I've heard rumors..........
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RE: ha

Postby hardluckchild » Mon Jan 12, 2004 3:55 am

I didn't vote for House because some of his post-war recordings aren't so hot, due to his advanced age. I didn't vote for Patton because I'm not a huge fan of his, though I do enjoy him. Lightnin' Hopkins has a very uneven collection of recordings: ranging from not-so-great to excellent. Mississippi John Hurt and Robert Johnson are both amazing; I picked Johnson in the end.
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RE: ha

Postby david » Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:40 pm

Am I the only one here that thinks Willie Johnson ought to at least be on the short list? If you can get past the voice (which can only be taken in short doses) and the poor recording quality, there is some amazingly innovative slide going on there--and with a pocket knife!
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RE: ha

Postby hardluckchild » Mon Jan 12, 2004 5:28 pm

Blind Willie McTell should also be on the list!
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RE: ha

Postby littleboyblue » Thu Jan 15, 2004 9:27 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jan-15-04 AT 04:28 PM (EST)]guess most don't agree with me, but I have to vote for Mississippi John Hurt. Maybe he wasn't the most absurd player ever to pick up a guitar, but whenever I listen to some of his recordings they just sound "right" You know like that's what the guitar was meant to do and he's helping it fulfill it's destiny. I dunno, like blueswriter said it's all personal choice and how the music affects us all individually.
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RE: ha

Postby allanlummox » Fri Jan 16, 2004 2:34 am

Blue, you're right - and just about everyone here is going to agree about the "rightness" of Hurt's playing.

But if the question is Blues- sheer however you want to define it Bluesness, Hurt is disqualified - many call him a "songster", but however you slice it, his output is less Bluesy than many.

Now this doesn't affect the fact that most of his fans are into Blues...
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RE: ha

Postby chillywilly » Fri Jan 16, 2004 4:34 am

sorry, i don't even know what the question is here, i jumped in the middle of the thread.

but regardless and nevertheless, the answer is:

Son House.

CW
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RE: ha

Postby hardluckchild » Fri Jan 16, 2004 6:08 am

What about Blind Lemon Jefferson and Furry Lewis?
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RE: ha

Postby littleboyblue » Fri Jan 16, 2004 4:38 pm

>Blue, you're right - and just about everyone here is going
>to agree about the "rightness" of Hurt's playing.
>
>But if the question is Blues- sheer however you want to
>define it Bluesness, Hurt is disqualified - many call him a
>"songster", but however you slice it, his output is less
>Bluesy than many.
>
>Now this doesn't affect the fact that most of his fans are
>into Blues...

Well, that is a fair and sensable argument you have there Dan. One I can't much argue with because you're right. So I guess if I am to aproach this from the emphasis of BLUES acoustic (instead of putting the emhasis on ACOUSTIC musician that can fall into blues as a category)I would agree son house for BLUES musician, MJH is still my preferred MUSICIAN.
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RE: ha

Postby 32 20 blues » Sun Feb 08, 2004 7:30 pm

Some people may say RJ is overrated, but I think the way he synthesized blues influences as disparate as Scrapper Blackwell & Leroy Carr and Skip James to record some of the most chilling, heartbreaking and inspring blues ever, as well as become a bridge between pre and postwar styles gets him my vote.
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RE: ha

Postby hardluckchild » Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:06 am

I say Robert Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson or Blind Willie McTell, but there are so many greats! Mississippi John Hurt, Furry Lewis and Lonnie Johnson can't be far behind!
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It's a tuff one, but....

Postby chillywilly » Wed Jan 12, 2005 4:37 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.

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

Postby grady » Wed Jan 12, 2005 5:37 am

My vote is for Robert Johnson.
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