He was not a virtuoso on the guitar, but had an original, evocative style, well-matched to his theatrical delivery. Johnson was also the quintessential blues bad boy, with a penchant for rampant womanizing and for alcohol, the latter of which led him to drastic extremes.
He was known to down denatured alcohol, used for artificial heat, when the real thing wasn't available, a habit he documented in his original song "Canned Heat," from which the s blues-rock group took its name. Johnson left behind a small but outstanding collection of recordings, almost all of which became classics. Jones's first hit, "It's Not Unusual," reached number one in the U.
He followed that up with a steady string of hits throughout the sixties, and eventually landed his own TV series. Other milestones include a superb recording collaboration with the Chieftains and an acclaimed performance at the legendary Glastonbury Festival, both in the early nineties.
Jones remains an esteemed performer worldwide, and continues to tour and record; his latest release, Mr. Jones , is a collaboration with acclaimed hip hop artist Wyclef Jean. A brilliant guitarist in his own right, King was originally inspired by Texas blues great Blind Lemon Jefferson.
Like B. King, he was a master of single string solos and used the technique of "string bending" to great emotional effect. He was also left-handed, and instead of restringing the guitar, he just learned to play it upside down, which added an original tone to his style.
His blues are infused with a Memphis soul sound; he became a rock and blues star after signing to the Memphis-based Stax label, which was responsible for some of the finest soul music ever recorded. King always managed to keep his sound fresh and original, and had a significant impact on blues and rock; he has influenced Eric Clapton, Robert Clay, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Otis Rush, among others.
He had the honor of playing San Francisco's Fillmore West on opening night with John Mayall and Jimi Hendrix and often shared the bill with rock artists throughout his career. King continued to tour until his death in King B. King's career has spanned five decades and taken him from the clubs of Memphis to the finest concert halls in the world. He's known as the King of the Blues, and for his enduring and successful efforts as a gracious, respected blues diplomat he deserves much of the credit for the genre's mainstream popularity and recognition.
Early in his career King worked as a Memphis disc jockey, where he was known as the Beale Street Blues Boy, which was later shortened to B. Although King's roots are in Delta blues, his sound has always been more polished, probably due to his wide variety of influences, which include jazz, gospel and pop.
He also "bends" the strings, which continues the sound in a way that enhances the music's emotion. King continues to record and perform as powerfully as ever. King's early influences leaned toward soul, rock and reggae, specifically Prince, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley, but it was inevitable that his blues birthright as the son of Louisiana bluesman Tabby Thomas would eventually wend its way into his work. King toured Europe with his father in , and since then the blues have been an integral part of his work.
Throughout his career he has fused the blues with hip hop, rap, funk and soul, and also has repeatedly returned to a more pure form of blues, exploring the soul and history of the music in a critically acclaimed, always-evolving body of work.
King is most recently known for his appearance on the award-winning soundtrack from the film O Brother Where Art Thou , in which he also played a supporting role. Read an archived version of King's Washington Post online chat. Sam Lay Born: March 20, , Birmingham, Alabama Sam Lay is the quintessential blues drummer, and was a major figure on the Chicago blues scene in the 's. Lay was part of Butterfield's band when they backed Bob Dylan at his infamous premier electric performance at the Newport Folk Festival.
He has played on many classic albums, including the release Paul Butterfield Blues Band , that significantly impacted the s blues revival; Muddy Waters's Fathers and Sons ; and Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited. Lay is famous for the "double shuffle" beat, which, like Bo Diddley's famous rock beat, was originally inspired by the clapping rhythms of gospel congregations.
Lay has been nominated for several W. Lead Belly was an itinerant musician, and a living catalogue of many musical traditions and influences, from folk to country blues to prison songs to ballads.
His wide repertoire carried a rich sense of black history. He traveled and played for a time with Blind Lemon Jefferson, who was probably his primary blues influence and reportedly taught him how to play slide guitar.
It was folklorist John Lomax who recognized Lead Belly as a national treasure and orchestrated his second prison release on those grounds, later recording him and organizing performances.
Lead Belly later moved to New York and became an integral part of the city's folk scene. During his lifetime he never experienced the success and recognition he deserved, but his influence on American music is incalculable.
He has inspired many songwriters, including Bob Dylan, and his recordings document a rich musical legacy that without him might have been forgotten. Lenoir probably picked up his solid "boogie woogie" influence in New Orleans, where he spent some time performing before he settled into Chicago's blues scene during the fifties and sixties. Once Lenoir made it to Chicago, Big Bill Broonzy helped introduce him to the local blues community, and he became an important part of the city's blues scene.
He was a talented songwriter and bluesman with an obvious political awareness. Lenoir's recordings are also distinctive for their excellent saxophone arrangements and unconventional drumming Alex Atkins and Ernest Cotton were often on sax with Al Gavin on drums.
Lenoir had successfully toured Europe and was likely about to achieve greater fame when he died in due to complications from a car accident. The true peak of his career only lasted three years and included appearances in rock and roll films , but his many hits are absolute classics and he had an enormous influence on blues, rock, and pop music.
Like other performers such as Son House and Blind Willie Johnson, the religious fervor Little Richard brought to his music was key to its riveting appeal. In he actually turned his back on his music career in favor of religious studies. He came back to music in the early s, and later repeated the journey from music to religion and back again. Little Richard continues to perform on occasion. Alan Lomax Born: January 15, , Austin, Texas Died: July 19, , Sarasota, Florida Alan Lomax began his long career as a folklorist when he was still a teenager, traveling with his father, John, throughout the South to preserve the area's music legacy of folk, work songs and spirituals, among other music.
He also recorded jazz legend Jelly Roll Morton. Lomax's life was dedicated to preserving the musical legacy of not only the United States, but other parts of the world as well, including Europe and the Caribbean. His blues recordings are classics, and in his award-winning memoir, The Land Where the Blues Began , he not only chronicled the history of the blues as seen through his field experiences, but also captured the bitter racism that was faced by the now-legendary artists he recorded.
Lomax left behind an invaluable musical and historical legacy. Early in his career, McGhee worked as a traveling performer. Long, and it was Long who helped McGhee make his first recordings. As a duo they were enormously popular performers and prolific recording artists for almost four decades. McGhee also opened a music school in Harlem where he offered guitar lessons. Both individually and in his partnership with Sonny Terry, McGhee had a lasting influence on both blues and folk.
He might not be the King of the Blues in Chicago, but he's certainly one of the royal family. Slim came to Chicago in the mid-fifties with the hopes of becoming a great bluesman, but didn't have the skill level to hold his own with the city's stars. He came back ten years later having honed his licks and formed a band with his brothers; the group soon became a powerful force on the city's South Side.
Decades and personnel changes later Slim and his band still maintain a reputation for blowing the room away with their powerful lead and rhythm guitar stylings and a truly amazing repertoire, including fine original material. Mahal has mastered many instruments, including piano, bass, guitar, banjo and harmonica, and is an expressive vocalist. His deep respect for the true roots of all musical styles is evident in his performance. Stories of legendary and obscure artists from blues and other genres as well as various musical styles and influences are often interspersed between songs.
Mahal began performing as a folk singer while he was still a teenager, and during college he became part of Boston's folk scene. He eventually moved to Los Angeles where for a short time he worked with guitar master Ry Cooder. Mahal's loyalty to blues can be found on most of the albums he has released in his prolific career, and is particularly evident in his early, critically-acclaimed releases. Taj Mahal continues to record and perform.
John Mayall Born: November 29, , Manchester, England John Mayall's considerable talent as a composer and performer is often overshadowed by the influence of his ever-changing band, the Bluesbreakers, which has been in existence since the early 's, and early on gained a prestigious reputation that has endured to the present day. Mayall brought together a stunning array of talent in the groundbreaking group, which mined the annals of American blues history in addition to performing original music.
The group was partly experimental, and as a result its sound was inconsistent, but much of it was outstanding. Many members of the Bluesbreakers subsequently became superstars. Even a short list of the band's veterans reads like a who's who in enduring sixties and seventies blues-rock: Eric Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce, who left to form the supergroup Cream; guitarist Mick Taylor, who left to join the Rolling Stones; and guitarist Peter Green, bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood, who with others co-founded Fleetwood Mac originally conceived as a pure blues band.
Mayall continues to perform, often with longtime Bluesbreakers veterans and other blues legends. Memphis Minnie Born: June 3, , Algiers, Louisiana Died: August 6, , Memphis, Tennessee Also known as: Lizzie Douglas Memphis Minnie was an accomplished guitarist, banjo player, vocalist and songwriter whose career was long and prolific, and she won the enduring respect of her contemporaries, male and female. Her talent had an impact on Memphis's famed Beale Street blues community as well as both the pre-war and post-war Chicago blues scene.
She established herself on Beale Street during the s, then moved to Chicago in , where she reportedly regularly won guitar playing competitions, beating out the best of them, including Big Bill Broonzy, Tampa Red, and Muddy Waters. In addition to her superb musicianship, her performance featured rich vocals with a deep, full tone.
Her songwriting, often conveying a purely female perspective, was as gutsy and suggestive as any of her male counterparts, and many of her originals have become classics. Among her many contributions to the blues, she was also known for her kindness and generosity toward up and coming blues musicians.
He picked up a guitar when he was Influenced by the deeply emotional performer Son House as well as Robert Johnson, Waters became an accomplished bluesman himself. This album is something of a concept album, mostly telling the story of the Upper Big Branch coal mining disaster of , when twenty nine miners were killed. These songs represent people who are the mostly the steller opposite of what he believes in politically, but he has to put himself in their shoes to get the message of the people involved, across.
A brooding, dark guitar riff underscores the vocal as he talks about how the miners are not given any consideration to working practices and are just there to make money for the owners. This is also the song that closes the play. The remaining three songs on the album, although connected to West Virginia are not performed in the play but do hold the album together.
Treat Her Right 5. Hoochie Coochie Man 6. Flip, Flop and Fly Tracks 4 - 6 on Side 4. Talk To Me Baby 2. Flatfoot Sam 3. Two Bones And A Pick 4. Someday Baby 5. Death Letter 3. Going Home 4. I Don't Know 5. Diddy Wah Diddy. Fat City CD. Fat City 2. Longing For You Baby 3. Help Me 4. I Can't Tell It All 5. Down To The River 6. Country Blues No. Cold Emotions, Frozen Hearts 8.
Killing Me By Degrees 9. So Lonely Long Time Gone You've Got To Choose. Join our , fans. Similar Artists. How to Order. International Shipping. Return Policy. Billy Bland. I Need a Woman.
Little Willie. Sweet Little Girl. Hard Luck Baby. Work Out. Love's a Disease. She Loves So Easy. Reap What You Sow. Alright, so I'm not familiar with this song, but I saw your post and thought it could be a fun challenge to do a bit of sleuthing.
His brother Bobby Robert Cupit played also. Earl was also a D. J in Vidalia. Earl came to our house with an arm full. So proud!! We were too! Replies: 1 Last: Oct, am.
Replies: 5 Last: Jun, pm. Replies: 32 Last: Apr, pm.May 11, · Steve Earle GHOSTS OF WEST VIRGINIANew West Records A Magnificent History Lesson From One of America's Greatest Ever Songwriters. I've had a love affair with Steve Earle's music most of my adult life. As with all long standing artists, he's had his musical downs as well as (mostly) ups but his success rate means to me.