Recommended Blues Listening

A discussion of the blues for blues lovers and fans.

Recommended Blues Listening

Postby ricochet » Sat Oct 21, 2006 7:14 pm

OK, as we often have folks drop in who're unfamiliar with blues and interested in learning more, or sometimes folks who just want to hear more good blues and are looking for suggestions, let's post some favorite CDs here.

I'll start off with "The Complete Recordings of Robert Johnson."

And just about anything by R.L. Burnside. Check his stuff out at: http://fatpossum.com/ While you're over there, check out Charles Caldwell and Johnny Farmer.

One I recently was given by my kids: Freddie King's "Texas Cannonball."

There are lots of others I could mention, but I'll pass it along. What would you recommend?
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Postby jeffl » Sat Oct 21, 2006 7:41 pm

If you're a harper, I'd recommend Chess's "Best of Little Walter", for givin' you a glimpse of the diversity of the little 10 hole "tin sandwich".
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Postby allanlummox » Sat Oct 21, 2006 10:22 pm

This thread will probably get FULL of people posting favorites and showing off, but let me put in a few - ABSOLUTELY - essentials.

You'll need some Muddy Waters and some Howlin' Wolf right off the bat.

Elmore James.

John Lee Hooker.

For all of these guys, any "best of" compilation will get you going in the right direction.

I'd also recommend "Mississippi John Hurt - 1928 Sessions",

" The Complete Early Recordings of Skip James", and

Son House "The Original Delta Blues".
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Postby boogiechillun85 » Sun Oct 22, 2006 4:03 am

Charlie Patton's complete recordings.
And, if necessary, you could really just stop there.. lol..
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Postby srvlives » Sun Oct 22, 2006 6:02 am

Johnny Shines, 'Too Wet To Plough'
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Postby stumblin » Sun Oct 22, 2006 7:15 am

Well, seeing as the idea for this thread started up in the Cheap Seats with a mention of Hound Dog Taylor, I think I'll put forward the name of:
Hound Dog Taylor.
Also
J.B. Hutto.
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Postby mickeypainless » Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:13 pm

3 Kings is a tuff hand to beat in most poker games and Albert, Fred and BB are some purty fine cats to give a listen too!
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Postby maxx england » Mon Oct 23, 2006 4:04 pm

Mississippi Fred Macdowell. Jimmy Reed. J B Lenoir. Earl Hooker. And if they're really new to this and want someone likely to be familiar to a pop/rock audience, , someone now acting as an evangelist for us, Chris Rea's recent works.
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Postby mkj » Fri Nov 24, 2006 5:41 pm

I can't see how a newcomer to blues - such as myself for instance - can learn off listening to cds. I listened to quite a few but I couldn't for the life of me work out how the songs were constructed or anything. I stumbled on a book though - Blues Solos by Johnny Norris for acoustic guitar (finger picking) complete with cds - and have never looked back. I am still practising the pieces religously as they seem to address all the issues that need addressing - finger strength - timing - speed etc. I now have the more advanced book - Super Solos. The Blues Solos book has songs by Muddy Waters and other top artists/styles are covered too. I try and play the complete book nearly every day and each piece a few times. I find my fingers and wrist getting stronger all the time because of it. I am now recording the songs myself which I find to be a great way of keeping track of my improvement - if any. Also I have learned enough to compose my own songs now too. So I think any newcomer wanting to learn blues needs cds but with the accompanying music to go with it so they can see how the songs are constructed.
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Postby allanlummox » Fri Nov 24, 2006 5:43 pm

But...if you don't like the blues enough to listen to it, why do you want to play it?

Is it supposed to be easy or something?
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Postby mkj » Fri Nov 24, 2006 5:57 pm

But...if you don't like the blues enough to listen to it, why do you want to play it?

Is it supposed to be easy or something?


Love blues obviously or I wouldn't be trying so hard to learn how to play it. All I am saying is for a newcomer they need to see the notes as well, otherwise how can they possibly learn how to play like it? I think you can only work out how a song is being played if you are an expert yourself, or are pretty knowledgeable. To do so is way beyond me that is for sure. Since attempting to play the songs I now play the different styles and ways of playing are many more than I ever thought. Without being able to read the notations and chords etc there is no way on earth I could ever play even the simplest of them. Maybe it is just me!
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Postby allanlummox » Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:49 pm

BUt the Blues grew up in an environment without notation - just records and live performances.

And I'm not convinced that "Blind" Gary Davis or "Blind" Willie Johnson needed to see the notes.
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Postby mkj » Fri Nov 24, 2006 9:03 pm

Good points. But I suppose if anyone devoted enough time to something like guitar playing they would eventually work out how to construct a song for sure. I mean I am even doing it but that still doesn't help a newcomer in the initial stages. I just listened to some of your playing - very nice work too - but I can't work out how you are playing those pieces. Maybe a lot of blues players were shown how to play in a certain manner from someone and then it was passed along. With the advent of the internet now and quick fixes video recordings would make far more sense to show than actual music so that the finger work can be shown. I am making my own now infact to record any new idea I have. This is one here I just made. Simple windows media file.

Untitled song. A play on an idea.
http://mark-jones.me.uk/mymusic/data_fo ... edsong.wmv
(2x click video for full screen or rt click it for menu)

Now from videos I could definitely learn :D . Have you made any of your playing?
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Postby allanlummox » Fri Nov 24, 2006 9:32 pm

I have a couple of DVD's of performances at festivals - and one at the Starry Plough in Berkeley.

At some point, I'll get them converted to a medium I can post online.

And to tell the truth, my attitude towards learning the guitar is that it doesn't matter how you approach it; if you spend time with the instrument, you'll move forward.

When I was first playing, listening to great blues was what inspired me to practice and to play. It was a thirst for the music that fed itself.
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Postby ricochet » Sat Nov 25, 2006 12:01 am

This thread isn't about resources for learning to play blues. There are several threads about that. It's about recommended blues for listening.
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