From the beginning of music, blues has always had a special place in music culture. We’re back again with another five to explain more about this genre, its history, and how it applies in the present.
A background of the evolution of blues music will be presented in this article, as well as a list of what I consider to be the 5 best Blues albums of all time that you should own on vinyl!
Before getting these precious vinyl, you will need your record player audio system setup done right to enjoy the most of the vinyl quality. That sounds big but you only need a turntable and power speakers for a basic system.
Alright! Now we will go through to the 5 best Blues vinyl albums.
Blind Lemon Jefferson: Black Snake Moan
Jefferson, blinded at birth to Texas sharecroppers, began playing guitar at a young age and developed a rapid style of fingerpicking that influenced thousands, including Lead Belly, T-Bone Walker, and even Bob Dylan, who recorded the song in his debut album.
They describe Jefferson as “the King of Country Blues,” and although his life story and death in 1929 are obscure, you can still pick out the innovative picking and the impressive range of his vocals in his many recordings.
John Lee Hooker – House Of Blues
Several singles and performances across the country preceded the release of “House of Blues” in 1960. Imagine the band playing in a steel-walled wooden house reverberating echoes in a metallic elemental fashion – If one could do that, then the album sound would be much better.
Albert Collins, Johnny Copeland, and Robert Cray – Showdown! (Alligator, 1985)
Set the sound for this thoroughly enjoyable blues summit, Showdown! opens with a rousing rendition of the T-Bone Shuffle by T-Bone Walker to set the tone for what is an outstanding performance of essentially blues guitar.
The album features a competitive element but lacks any macho posturing as the musicians are content just to let their blues brothers shine. Showdown! was nominated for a Grammy in 1986 and widely considered to be among the top 100 best blues albums ever.
Blind Willie McTell: The Early Years – 1927-1933
McTell, who was blind since youth, preferred the 12-string guitar, influenced his blues with ragtime elements, and sang with a more distinctive tone.
He recorded as Blind Sammie since 1928, also under the names Georgia Bill, Hot Shot Willie, and Barrelhouse Sammy in addition to his previously unreleased recordings such as 1928’s “Statesboro Blues.” The latter was eventually covered by the Allman Brothers.
The White Stripes later released “Southern Can Is Mine” as part of a 16-song collection dedicated to him. Jack White own Third Man later partnered with Document Records to release all of McTell’s recordings on vinyl.
T-Bone Walker – T-Bone Blues (1960)
Instead of jazz or classical, T-Bone’s “T-Bone Blues” mixes the orchestra and his windswept rhythms that mix classic rock with rockabilly, then goes electric on the guitar with Chuck Berry-like speed, stability, and structure. Play On Little Girl and T-Bone Shuffle showcase how together they work in perfect harmony.
I Can’t Quit The Blues
Many of these blues artists are no longer with us, but their influence still lives on within each rock song of our generation. Blues music helped heal the souls of the broken-hearted, but it also helped shape millions of lives.