Dunbar High School Music Appreciation

Blues

 

The Blues

ROBERT JOHNSON
1911-1938
'King of the Delta Blues'
One of the first and most influential blues artists.

Influenced: 
Eric Clapton
-- 'Steady rollin' man'
-- 'Walkin' blues'
-- 'Malted milk'

Rolling Stones -- 'Love in vain'
 -- 'Stop breaking down'

Cream -- 'Crossroad blues'

Fleetwood Mac -- 'Hellhound on my trail'

Robert Johnson often claimed that he learnt the guitar from the devil. His CD The  Complete Recordings went platinum in 1990, more than 50 years after his death.

(His  lyrics are online here.)

MUDDY WATERS
(McKinley Morganfield)
1915-1983
'Father of the Electric Blues'

Moved to Chicago from Mississippi in 1943 and started playing electric guitar. Recorded hits for Chess Records in the early 50s:

'Hoochy Coochie Man''Got My Mojo Working','Tiger In Your Tank''I Got My Brand on You','Mannish Boy'.

Toured England in 1958. Influenced players like Mike BloomfieldPaul Butterfield and Eric Clapton.  The Rolling Stones named themselves after Muddy's first hit with Chess records, 'Rollin' Stone'.

LEADBELLY
(Huddie Ledbetter)
1888-1949
'King of the 12-string guitar'

One of the first and most influential folk-blues artists.

Influenced:

The Beach Boys -- 'Cottonfields' 1970

Lonnie Donegan (Skiffle) -- 'Rock Island Line' 1956

Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) -- 'Black Girl' 1993

Eric Clapton -- 'Alberta' 1992

U2 made contributions to a Leadbelly tribute album 1988

A multi-instumentalist, Leadbelly played accordion, bass, harmonica and piano as well as 12-string guitar. He made many recordings of folk and blues songs and performed  throughout the United States and Europe.

HOWLIN' WOLF
(Chester Arthur Burnett)
1910-1976
'The authentic voice of the Mississippi Blues'

Guitarist and vocalist

Having played in the south since 1928,Howlin' Wolf moved to Chicago in 1952 and recorded for Chess Records. Some of the songs recorded then included:

  • Little Red Rooster
  • I Ain't Superstitious
  • Back Door Man
  • Killing Floor
  • How Many More Years

His songs have been covered by the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, the YardbirdsJeff Beck, the Doors, Cream, the Electric FlagLittle Feat and Led Zeppelin.