Recommend me a book (or maybe albums)…

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HAL9000HAL9000 Frets: 7078
…not really a theory thing but figured this was probably as good a section as any so here goes…

It’s really about repertoire. I’m after something to help increase my (mostly Chicago) blues, and blues-influenced repertoire. I know a reasonable amount of Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Fats Domino, etc numbers but really the same ones that everybody else knows. So any books or albums that I should be getting my grubbies on?

As always, thanks.
I play guitar because I enjoy it rather than because I’m any good at it
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Comments

  • lukedlblukedlb Frets: 452
    For playing live? Or just for improving your chops and know?
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 11964
    From the classic era it was singles being recorded so albums are always compilations really although the later ones Muddy Waters did with Johnny Winter always recommended. Lots of artists from that era who have become less well remembered but obviously Otis Rush ( one of the big influences on the British blues boom) and Magic Sam if you aren’t already familiar. Oh and Earl Hooker another Chicago legend who, like Sam, died relatively young. 
    Even more artists from a slightly younger generation of Chicago blues folk:
    Lonnie Brooks often considered the best of the next generation with a slightly more modern style. 
    Buddy Guy when he was still with Junior Wells. I’d also highly recommend Buddy’s slightly later album DJ Play My Blues which is him on fire with a stripped down band before he became a celebrity sidekick. 
    James Cotton who very much took the baton from Little Walter. Often had Matt Murphy on guitar who also had a solo career outside of the Blues Brothers and a thousand sidemen gigs. Great funky, melodic player. 
    Lil Ed Williams for crazy slide and Chicago boogie.
    The wonderful Hound Dog Taylor who was a Chicago street musician who started his recording career relatively late in life.

    Very roughly you have Southside Chicago Blues like Waters or Taylor which is often played with slide and is the more raw boogie side of Chicago and then West Side which has that more jazz influence with lots of funky 9th chords ( crosses over with things like early James Brown) such as  Rush and Sam. But dynamics, rhythmic feel, melodic playing, use of space in solos, sometimes it’s just being surprising - playing chicken clucks and train noises. There is a lot of fun in Chicago blues, a lot of the somber dealing with the devil type approach was left down South. 

    There are a lot of books on the history of blues but they tend to deal with it up to the emergence of electric Chicago blues. Loads of lessons online and elsewhere. I usually think Keith Wyatt is the professor of blues and how to explain it so he’s a name always worth looking out for. 

    A lot of modern artists cover songs from the Chicago repertoire and do it very badly indeed. Complete failure to understand the musical conversations, the dynamics,etc. 
    Inhale away Jackson Jeffrey Jackson. 
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  • HAL9000HAL9000 Frets: 7078
    lukedlb said:
    For playing live? Or just for improving your chops and know?
    More about learning some new songs really. But improving my chops wouldn’t be a bad thing.
    I play guitar because I enjoy it rather than because I’m any good at it
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • HAL9000HAL9000 Frets: 7078
    From the classic era it was singles being recorded so albums are always compilations really although the later ones Muddy Waters did with Johnny Winter always recommended. Lots of artists from that era who have become less well remembered but obviously Otis Rush ( one of the big influences on the British blues boom) and Magic Sam if you aren’t already familiar. Oh and Earl Hooker another Chicago legend who, like Sam, died relatively young. 
    Even more artists from a slightly younger generation of Chicago blues folk:
    Lonnie Brooks often considered the best of the next generation with a slightly more modern style. 
    Buddy Guy when he was still with Junior Wells. I’d also highly recommend Buddy’s slightly later album DJ Play My Blues which is him on fire with a stripped down band before he became a celebrity sidekick. 
    James Cotton who very much took the baton from Little Walter. Often had Matt Murphy on guitar who also had a solo career outside of the Blues Brothers and a thousand sidemen gigs. Great funky, melodic player. 
    Lil Ed Williams for crazy slide and Chicago boogie.
    The wonderful Hound Dog Taylor who was a Chicago street musician who started his recording career relatively late in life.

    Very roughly you have Southside Chicago Blues like Waters or Taylor which is often played with slide and is the more raw boogie side of Chicago and then West Side which has that more jazz influence with lots of funky 9th chords ( crosses over with things like early James Brown) such as  Rush and Sam. But dynamics, rhythmic feel, melodic playing, use of space in solos, sometimes it’s just being surprising - playing chicken clucks and train noises. There is a lot of fun in Chicago blues, a lot of the somber dealing with the devil type approach was left down South. 

    There are a lot of books on the history of blues but they tend to deal with it up to the emergence of electric Chicago blues. Loads of lessons online and elsewhere. I usually think Keith Wyatt is the professor of blues and how to explain it so he’s a name always worth looking out for. 

    A lot of modern artists cover songs from the Chicago repertoire and do it very badly indeed. Complete failure to understand the musical conversations, the dynamics,etc. 
    Wow! Comprehensive and knowledgeable reply. Thanks, I’ll check out your suggestions.
    I play guitar because I enjoy it rather than because I’m any good at it
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  • lukedlblukedlb Frets: 452
    I’ll second all of @EricTheWeary suggestions.
    everything buddy guy did with junior wells is great, especially hoodoo man blues and the acoustic album. All their live performances are a treat. DJ play my blues or Stone crazy are heavy out there.
    don’t forget John lee hooker, although not exactly Chicago, his recordings there and subsequent albums are phenomenal: urban blues, hooker n heat stand out. 
    I’d like to add the Texan blues of Freddie king in the 70s. Check out the live videos he did in Stockholm. Not strictly Chicago blues but the attitude is. Can’t get much better than that band. 
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 11964

    lukedlb said:
    I’ll second all of @EricTheWeary suggestions.
    everything buddy guy did with junior wells is great, especially hoodoo man blues and the acoustic album. All their live performances are a treat. DJ play my blues or Stone crazy are heavy out there.
    don’t forget John lee hooker, although not exactly Chicago, his recordings there and subsequent albums are phenomenal: urban blues, hooker n heat stand out. 
    I’d like to add the Texan blues of Freddie king in the 70s. Check out the live videos he did in Stockholm. Not strictly Chicago blues but the attitude is. Can’t get much better than that band. 


    Freddie King probably my favourite blues artist ever. It’s not the shuffling Texas blues of Lightnin Hopkins or even SRV or the jump blues of T Bone, he probably sits more with Chicago blues. The early instrumentals had a lot in common with Earl Hooker and King’s best known choon Hideaway supposedly based on Taylor’s Boogie by Hound Dog Taylor and Magic Sam did Do the Camel Walk which is another variation ( although it has the oddest production). 

    Anyway, watching a random bunch of stuff on YouTube I hadn’t seen this before, the wonderful Lonnie Brooks with Sugar Blue on harp, Sugar being the slight oddity of being a New York blues player and best known for Miss You by the Rolling Stones…

    https://youtu.be/F2kSQ1ceEUA
    Inhale away Jackson Jeffrey Jackson. 
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  • RickLucasRickLucas Frets: 114
    JB Lenoir Alabama Blues.
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