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The W - Music - Looking for some blues
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Boudin rouge

Since: 30.1.02
From: South Georgia

Since last post: 3671 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.42
I find myself developing a taste for the blues and some jazz. My problem is that there are no blues or jazz radio stations in my area and I don't have anybody to guide me in my selections.

For reference, I have heard and liked Muddy Waters, Nora Jones, Ray Charles, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Thelonious Monk, and not much else. Piano and guitar are really great, but sometimes the trumpet jazz REAAAAAAALY gets on my nerves.

Are there any old-school blues fans out there? What should I look for?

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-Edsgar Dijkstra
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Since: 29.1.03
From: the suburbs

Since last post: 5034 days
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.57
Robert Johnson is where you'd start with the blues. There is a nice box set of his work out there that would be the best possible option... It is rickety sounding recording, true blues feeling, sold his souls to the devil to get the skills blues. Definetly a good choice as he is one of the main figures in the genere that people often look towards (see Clapton, Eric)

As for jazz, Miles Davis is always a great choice. "Bitches Brew" is a great CD to pick up. (disclaimer: he does play the trumpet, but i believe that his style may make you accept it, considering that you get annoyed w/ heavy trumpet)

hope that helped.

(edited by j9479 on 12.10.04 1826)

Summer sausage

Since: 2.1.02
From: Calgary ... Alberta Canada

Since last post: 5520 days
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
She may be more jazz than blues, but the best answer I can give is Ella Fitzgerald.

"Best of the Song Books", "The Cole Porter Song Book" and "Ella and Louis" (with Louis Armstrong) would be great starts to see if she rings your bell. She is without a doubt my favourite jazz singer in the whole wide world. It makes me sad that because she didn't look like Xtina, Ashanti, or Beyonce, she wouldn't even get in the door at a record label these days, despite the fact that she had the sexiest voice imaginable. One more reason why the Revolution is way overdue.

There are a ton of blues compilations out there that would be best for you if you don't know who you like. Look for ones with the likes of Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Bo Diddley, and Jimmy Witherspoon. Great way to find the artists you like. Because these compilations will mix these well-known artists with lesser-known ones, you can discover all sorts of hidden treasures. This is how I discovered Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson. (He plays the blues, but also the trumpet, so you may not like).

If you like modern blues a la Stevie Ray Vaughn, try The Smokin' Joe Kubek Band. Tragically underappreciated.

If you like rocking blues, George Thorogood and the Destroyers go without saying.

And last but not least, if you have a college radio station in your vicinity, find out if they have a "blues hour" on their schedule. CJSW here in Calgary has a jazz/blues morning show from 6-9 weekdays that's usually pretty good.

If I could fix me up a week of twilight hours
we'd sit on the point
and watch the sun continually flounder.
Bathed in gold we'd plug into some kind of power
and connect with those days
back before all of this went sour.

Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

Since last post: 147 days
Last activity: 147 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.09
AS far as Blues goes, the Robert Johnson is a must have. It sounds like they tried to make it sound crappy, but considering the source tapes they had, it comes out pretty good.

For more modern, anything by BB King is essential. BB is a legend, and is probably the most relevant artist from the 60s as far as Blues musicians are concerned, who is still making music today.

ANother one is Bo Diddly. He is more in the rocking vein, but his influence is wide.

For more recent/modern artists, Johnny Lange is pretty good, despite his youth.


Since: 13.2.02
From: Back in the Heart of Hali

Since last post: 1188 days
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.03

I don't know enough blues to make any serious recommendations, but I likes my jazz, yes I do.

If you like Monk, you might find Charles Mingus to your taste. Mingus Ah Um is a classic; very percussive, lots of drive.

Miles Davis is great, and Bitches Brew is a seriously amazing record, but it's fairly avant-garde. This could be good if you're trying to avoid Louis Armstrong or Chet Baker-style trumpet, but the music is still built around the horn. Kind of Blue would probably be my starting point.

And then there's John Coltrane. Anything you can pick up by him is top notch. Blue Train is probably in my top five favorite records ever. Giant Steps is great too.

Vocally speaking, Nina Simone really walked the line between Jazz and Blues. Billie Holiday was brilliant. And you can't go wrong with Ella, Sarah Vaughn, or Carmen McRae.


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Brian P. Dermody

Since: 20.9.02
From: New York, NY

Since last post: 3591 days
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.01
Early Tom Waits might work for you too.

And Putomayo just came out with "Blues Lounge", which is classic blues remixed and reworked by electronica artists. It sounds like it wouldn't be any good, but it is. quite good.

Also, when it comes to blues, my old man would say you can't go wrong with old blind black guys with fruits in their names.

You can't spell "AWOL" without "W"

The next seduction.
Boudin rouge

Since: 30.1.02
From: South Georgia

Since last post: 3671 days
Last activity: 647 days
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.42
Thanks guys! I appreciate the input and now I have some directions to explore without being totally in the dark.

    Originally posted by DJ Ran
    Also, when it comes to blues, my old man would say you can't go wrong with old blind black guys with fruits in their names.


The question of whether computers can think is like the question of whether submarines can swim.
-Edsgar Dijkstra

Since: 21.8.04
From: ...that would be telling

Since last post: 5701 days
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.80
For jazz, I'd reinforce the previous suggestions of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. I'm partial to the saxophone, so I'd also recommend Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins.

PBS did a TV series on jazz, a big multi part thing like Baseball and The Civil War. I have a 5 cd set of music from that, and I don't know if they sell them individually, but if they do and you can find one you might want to pick it up because it would let you listen to a lot of different artists and from that you might find something else you like.

For blues, BB King is really good. My favorites are Jimi Hendrix (not always thought of for his blues, but he has some great stuff) and R.L. Burnside.

Worship the master - VOLK HAN

Since: 25.2.04
From: Keystone State

Since last post: 5011 days
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.89
God, I love you people. Thanks to you guys (and the PSU/Napster agreement) my HD is full of new stuff to listen to and I have a soundtrack for my night of Physics studying. And I wasn't even looking for the stuff, just stumbled into a thread.
Potato korv

Since: 11.12.01
From: Valparaiso, IN

Since last post: 3981 days
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.60
I highly recommend Lightnin Hopkins for blues. I dig the blues but don't listen that often anymore, but I always go back to Lightnin when I'm in the mood. // // //

Since: 25.4.03
From: Nashville, TN

Since last post: 1648 days
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.37

The first couple of albums by Kenny Wayne Shepherd are good blues rock records.

But you just can't fail with some SRV ...

September 4th, 2004
Lap cheong

Since: 22.2.04
From: Cambridge, MA

Since last post: 3025 days
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.27
Robert Cray is amazing if you're looking for some bluesy stuff that still has a classic rock vibe. Nice simple songs too, very easy to get into.

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Harry: That's a special feeling.

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-RAW Satire, 05.10.04

Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

Since last post: 147 days
Last activity: 147 days
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.02
If you can get past "angel eyes" and the thoughts of ROAD HOUSE it will conjure up, pick up some Jeff Healy Band. WAY underrated. Also, try Eric Sardinas.
Boudin rouge

Since: 1.5.03
From: California, Home of THE LAKERS!

Since last post: 1873 days
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.17

Elmore James, Smokey Wilson, Charlie Musselwhite, David Hole & Pinetop Perkins are all awesome too. Don't forget the work of John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers either.


Since: 5.1.02
From: Dover, NH

Since last post: 2529 days
Last activity: 290 days
#15 Posted on
I agree with most of the blues artists named above. Off the top of my head, here are some others to consider:

Jonny Lang - while Kenny Wayne Sherpherd is a young SRV-wannabe, Lang is a young guy who is just a plain very good blues guitarists, though he does cross over into more straight rock stuff quite a bit.

Luther Allison - If you like what you heard from B.B. King, you'd probably like him, too. I picked up a 2-cd Live in Chicago set from him for about $12, which was quite the bargain

Buddy Guy - I am surprised no one has mentioned him yet. Simply a legend.

John Lee Hooker - Ditto.

Paul Butterfield Blues Band/The Electric Flag/John Mayall's Blues Breakers - These were 60's electric blues bands that, unlike others from the time, didn't suck. Mayall's most famous for being the band that Eric Clapton, Aynsley Dunsbar (Frank Zappa and pre-Steve Perry Journey), and the original (pre-Stevie Nicks/Lindsey Buckingham) Fleetwood Mac guys all got their start with.

While the blind black guy thing works (most recently for Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise), so too does the black guy named King. Most famous non-B.B. King is Albert, who Stevie Ray Vaughan tried to emulate.

Doyle Bramhall, Taj Mahal, and Keb' Mo' (except his last 2 albums) are also worth checking out.

And, yes, Jimmy Vaughan, leader of the Fabulous Thunderbirds is Stevie Ray's brother. However, the Thunderbirds sound nothing like SRV.

Hej, jag har en gris i byxorna.


Since: 17.2.04
From: Eugene, Oregon

Since last post: 5761 days
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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.78
Curtis Salgado.

He is the basis of the Blues Brothers. Belushi hung out with him during the filming of Animal House. The dress, and even carrying a harmonica in a briefcase handcuffed to the wrist was borrowed. But ain't no thang. Still he is something of a local legend.

I've got many character flaws, humility isn't one.

Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

Since last post: 147 days
Last activity: 147 days
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.94
Also, see any Bonnie Raitt before she hit it big in what, 92?

Big Brother

Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 1 day
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.07
I stayed out of this thread as long as I could, because I'm not very knowledgable. I've now decided that I know more than enough people in this thread, so I'm speaking up.

If you want a good first purchase, I'd recommend picking up any of Alligator Records' Anniversary releases, which include broad cross sections and are guaranteed to have SOMEONE you'll find you like. Also, you might be amazed to hear one or two things you've actually heard before, but didn't know what they were!

If you enjoyed this referral, here's a GEMM link which may or may not get me a few pennies: Click Here (

(edited by CRZ on 19.10.04 0040)

Summer sausage

Since: 20.2.02
From: Columbia, MO

Since last post: 3199 days
Last activity: 3066 days
#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.02
AC Reed is much harder edged blues, but pretty brilliant.

I would completely back up the Lightnin' Hopkins recommendation. One of the biggest recorders of blues music, and just excellent country blues.

I don't think anyone has recommended T-Bone Walker, so here we go. BB King was all about this guy, which is a pretty good recommendation.

If you can find it, anything by Mississippi John Hurt. Pretty early artist, and just great, great, great. Not so hard-edged country blues, but will still get you pretty well.

Since: 3.1.02
From: Knoxville, TN

Since last post: 5103 days
Last activity: 5103 days
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.00
Well, a lot of the guiter blues artists have been covered (good recommendations, all), so I'll see what I can do to give you a little bit of variation.

If you can locate any Barbara Morrison, she comes with high recommendations. Kind of like Nina and Ella, she tends somewhere between Jazz, Swing, and Blues. (I was lucky enough to hear her live this summer, too... simply awesome.) Dinah Washington falls in this same category. So does Diana Krall - a more recent artist.

Koko Taylor. Amazing, gritty voice (and yes, that sounds odd, but you have to find some stuff from her). CRZ's previously mentioned Alligator Records Collections should have some stuff from her on there (both the 25th and 30th Anniversary collections have stuff from her).

I can't believe (maybe I missed it) that we've gone this far with no mention of Ray Charles. For shame!

Also, if you can find any Oscar Peterson, he's one of the best piano artists that I've heard.

There are some other ones that I'm leaving out - drop me a line and I'll see what else I can dig up.
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