Who were the real modern blues innovators?

Messages
2,789
I don't have a specific answer in mind for this. To be clear, the "modern" in my question anything from The Beano album onwards. I'm looking for artists who pushed the genre in new directions.

I have some thoughts:
- Was it indeed The Beano album? Or did Clapton just add more gain to Freddie King's riffs?
- All of the Three Kings put out some seminal works in the late 60s/early 70s, but were they innovative? (I think I'll Play The Blues For You is, but I'm a biased Albert King fan.)
- What about Cream? They certainly played with the form.
- Surely Hendrix would have to be considered.
- Led Zeppelin? One could make the case that Led Zep II was a blues album.
- AC/DC?
- Motorhead? (going out on a limb here)
- ZZ Top, especially with the Eliminator album?
- The White Stripes / The Black Keys?

Discuss. Tell me who I missed. Remember, I'm looking for innovators here - not just great guitarists.
 

GCDEF

Supporting Member
Messages
27,556
I don't think of any of the players in the OP as blues players. Rock players who sometimes play blues and blues players are different things. Pretty much anybody who learned to play guitar guitar pre Van Halen is blues influenced.

I'd nominate Johnny Winter and Roy Buchanan and even though I may be contradicting myself, Gary Moore in his later years.

Papanate is kind of right though, at some point you're innovating so much that it's not really blues any more.
 

wombat66

Member
Messages
2,820
the o.p. said "anything from The Beano album onwards" which in chronological terms means anything after 1966.
In my opinion T Bone was kind of spent by then and Muddy and Howlin Wolf's years as modern innovators, though still strong performers, were in the past unless you're talking about "Electric Mud" and its notorious cousin "The Howlin' Wolf Album".
 

gennation

Member
Messages
7,317
Buddy Guy and Johnny Winter.
Yes, Buddy Guy has to be at the top of the list. He was always trying to innovate what sounds could come out of the guitar.

Muddy Waters is probably the guy who start electric blues, which really hasn’t changed as a format that much except for early guys like Buddy Guy who would push it out of the box as much as he could.
 

stevieboy

Clouds yell at me
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
37,297
I look at blues guitar as being about personal style and interpretation. In that sense, everyone is an innovator really, at least almost everyone that reaches the blues audience and sometimes beyond. The more personal and recognizable the style, the more of an "innovator" the player is.
 

Zexcoil

Vendor
Messages
5,662
I'm amazed that Stevie Ray Vaughan has not been mentioned. He almost single-handedly brought the blues back into the mainstream, by injecting it with a fresh and visceral vitality, while staying true to the roots.

IMHO, most of the people mentioned in the OP were rock guys. Even Stevie was not 100% pure blues, but he was definitely a "blues innovator".
 

DrSax

Member
Messages
6,578
You know who Robben Ford says is the one guy that did something new/unique with blues? Bob Dylan.

Edit: "My favorite white blues musician is Bob Dylan. Not John Mayall....that's coming from the point of view of a musician. Bob Dylan is the ONLY guy who actually presented the blues in a completely original way. There isn't anybody else who did it. There isn't a f****ng g*ddamn soul on earth who did something different with the freaking blues." Robben Ford, Guitarwank, Episode 99.50.
 
Last edited:

whatizitman

Member
Messages
846
I'm amazed that Stevie Ray Vaughan has not been mentioned. He almost single-handedly brought the blues back into the mainstream, by injecting it with a fresh and visceral vitality, while staying true to the roots.

IMHO, most of the people mentioned in the OP were rock guys. Even Stevie was not 100% pure blues, but he was definitely a "blues innovator".
I'm not sure I agree. His playing was absolutely amazing and awe-inspiring. But nothing about it was particularly innovative, IMO. He was very open about his influences. Hendrix being one of his idols, and you can clearly hear it.
 




Top