The long flight of Muddy's 'Honey Bee'
Muddy Waters was born in rural Mississippi, and learned his blues at the feet of Son House and Robert Johnson. By the 1940’s he took that delta blues...
Hendrix inspired by Earl King's 'Come On'
Earl King is one of the great songwriters and performers to come out of New Orleans, and his legacy continues to live on. Many of his compositions,...
'Black Rat' comes from the most powerful singer to walk the Earth
The urban blues of places like Detroit and Chicago came from country blues. Little Son Joe and his better known partner Memphis Minnie were among the...
Everybody's got the 'Fever,' but Peggy Lee's got it bad
Chances are you’ve heard Peggy Lee’s iconic version of “Fever”– it’s one of the steamiest love songs ever written. But the original recording was...
"Kokomo Blues" among the roots of "Sweet Home Chicago"
“Sweet Home Chicago” is one of the best known blues songs ever written. But historians seem to agree that when Robert Johnson recorded the song in 1936...
Following "Blues With a Feeling" through cutting-edge changes
Here’s a perfect example of a song that changed with the times, and was at the cutting edge of those changes. Drummer and singer Rabon Tarrant recorded...
Robert Johnson at the Crossroads represents Delta blues the best
If I had to pick one person to represent Delta blues at the peak of its expression, it would be Robert Johnson. Saying that he was a superlative guitar...
'Traveling Riverside Blues' and the Roots of Led Zeppelin
Robert Johnson has become a mythical figure of the blues, who acquired his prodigious skills in a deal with the devil at the crossroads. The truth is he
The Piedmont Blues of "Crow Jane"
It’s hard to trace the exact source of “Crow Jane”, but it’s a song that has outlasted many others from the early days of the blues. Its roots lay in the
'Sitting on Top of the World' with the Mississippi Sheiks
The Mississippi Sheiks were a popular string band of the 1920’s and 30’s, with a sound that was a crossover between country music and blues. Though
"Nobody Knows You", Classic in Any Genre
This iconic hard-luck song was a hit when Bessie Smith recorded it in 1929, and with its timeless message and memorable melody, Nobody Knows You When Youre
'Mercury Blues' Still Running after 60 Years
Cars make great musical metaphors, and theyve inspired some famous blues songs like Cadillac Boogie, Maybelline and Mustang Sally. K.C. Douglas came out
Patton's 'Pony Blues' Still Kicking
Charley Patton was one of the first to play what we might recognize as Delta blues, putting blues into a strong and syncopated rhythm. A powerful singer
The Long Life of 'Stop Breaking Down'
Eric Clapton called Robert Johnson "the most important blues singer who ever lived." Saying that Johnson was a superlative guitar player, impassioned
Blues for the 'Big Boss Man'
Jimmy Reed is one of the most influential bluesmen in history and his songs will always be part of the blues repertoire. "Baby, What You Want Me to Do,"
'The Milk Cow Blues'—Alive and Well 80 Years Later
Sleepy John Estes was a Tennessee-based blues singer of the 1920’s and 30’s. Though not a flashy guitarist, his voice was packed with power, and the songs
4 Ways to Sing 'The Same Thing'
This deceptively simple blues song is a masterpiece of restraint and execution. Recorded first in 1964, it features the voice of Muddy Waters and the
Blues Turns Electric with 'Crawling King Snake'
Big Joe Williams was part of the first generation of blues players, and lived to help spark the blues revival of the 1960’s. An active performing and
Gershwin's 'Summertime' Becomes a Rock Classic
“Summertime” is considered one of George Gershwin’s finest songs. Collaborating with his brother Ira and lyricist DuBose Heyward, Gershwin composed the
'The Sky is Crying' with Three Legendary Guitarists
Elmore James is a giant of the blues. His work as a songwriter, singer and guitarist put him near the top of the short list of greats. The songs he wrote
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