Who were the real modern blues innovators?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by The Interceptor, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. bobcs71

    bobcs71 Member

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    While Stevie drew heavily from his influences, you know it is him immediately. I agree he made an innovation probably without meaning to do it.

    Robert Cray - his blues has funk, R&B inti a song oriented format that is immediately identifiable as Robert Cray.

    To me, those guys are barely modern. Since '66 is modern?
     
  2. minimal fretwear

    minimal fretwear Supporting Member

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    I guess at a certain point doing something really innovative makes it transform into something new? Maybe you could make a case the first Black Sabbath album has some blues on there, and their innovation made it metal on part of that album, and for sure on their later ones. Not saying they were the only band that did this - just an example.
     
  3. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    I realize he said that, but he's pretty much missing the point. The Beano album, as great as it is, is really just a rocked up regurgitation of mostly songs and licks that had already been recorded...an homogenized version of the blues for the young hippie market, really...along the same lines as the first Paul Butterfield Blues Band album...
     
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  4. Doomrider78

    Doomrider78 Member

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    I'm just throwing this out there as a contemporary blues innovator: Jerry Cantrell. I think he's fashioned a genuinely modern take on blues.

    For me, blues has become too blues-lite and its lost much of its darkness.

    :anon:hide
     
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  5. whatizitman

    whatizitman Member

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    Here I am. Rock you in the Daddy Cave.
    Right. To me, innovative implies something new, prior context and influences, notwithstanding.

    I hate to be that guy (wife tells me I'm a lot of thats, actually), but I think EVH was the last truly innovative "blues" guitarist to hit the pop mainstream. I'm sure there are countless "blues" guitarists that are not only more innovative, but certainly more blues. Just haven't had nearly the impact. Yes, it's rock not blues, blah blah.... His influences were all blues-influenced themselves. Direct descendant.

    in·no·va·tive
    /ˈinəˌvādiv/
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    adjective
    1. (of a product, idea, etc.) featuring new methods; advanced and original.
      "innovative designs"
      • (of a person) introducing new ideas; original and creative in thinking.
        "an innovative thinker"
        synonyms: original, innovatory, innovational, new, novel, fresh, unconventional, unorthodox, off-center, unusual, unfamiliar, unprecedented, avant-garde, experimental, inventive, ingenious; More
     
  6. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    I have to say that I've never thought of Jerry Cantrell or Eddie Van Halen as blues guitarists...
     
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  7. tapeworm

    tapeworm Member

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    There’s only so much “innovating” you can do before it is no longer blues. So none of those on the OP list fit this. Certainly not SRV either.

    I’ll go with Muddy with his electrifying the Delta blues or maybe Otis Rush and Magic Sam and the West Side Sound as the last time there was really anything that can be called innovation.

    BB taking the foundation T-Bone laid and building on it maybe. He added vibrato and volume. Albert and Freddie took that foundation and built on it a little as well but not as much as BB. So I’ll give them a nod but after that first generation of electric guys no one really innovated anything. Rocking up the blues, Shredding the blues, changing the blues to be something else entirely is not innovation imo.

    EVH AND Jerry Cantrell, blues innovators? Come on man.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  8. Bluedano1

    Bluedano1 Member

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    For me on electric:
    Johnny Winter, Robbie Robertson, Dickie Betts
    On acoustic:
    David Bromberg and Doc Watson
     
  9. smallbutmighty

    smallbutmighty Supporting Member

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    True dat. Blues is not a genre that begs for innovation. Playing the blues well or re-popularizing it is not really "innovation".

    But, if I had to pick someone from my lifetime to call a blues innovator, I would name Taj Mahal. He's blended several disparate influences, like Hawaiian (Sacred Island) and Tex-Mex (Senor Blues) into his blues in some very interesting ways, propagated them across a pretty wide audience, and has been at it for just this side of ever.

    Taj Mahal, all the way.
     
  10. zzmoore

    zzmoore Member

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    I am not saying he was "The Guy"..... but Otis Rush probably got eclipsed by some of the "bigger names".....even though A LOT of players (including Double Trouble) listened to him. :dunno
     
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  11. sacakl

    sacakl Silver Supporting Member

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    This for some reason reminds me of Clapton borrowing from Freddie King, then Eddie Van Halen’s ability to play every Clapton lick. Funny about the continuation and evolvement. Agree as well with Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
     
  12. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    I'd have to go with Clapton, Alvin Lee, Peter Green, anyone associated with Canned Heat, and Rod Price and Lonesome Dave.
    Rod Price took playing slide blues to a whole new level.
     
  13. Doomrider78

    Doomrider78 Member

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    Listen closely. His guitar playing is dripping with blues riffs and licks.
     
  14. CrispyTone

    CrispyTone Member

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    Listen to Eddiw Van Halen's solo guitar playing on "Fools."
     
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  15. CrispyTone

    CrispyTone Member

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    The whole guitar work on the track "Fools" actually. From the Intro to the end. Eddie*
     
  16. Doomrider78

    Doomrider78 Member

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    To innovate in a genre you have to step outside of the genre. That's what the likes of Sabbath, Metallica, the Beatles etc did. Just because it doesnt sound like what you perceive to be traditional blues, doesn't mean it isn't blues.
     
  17. tapeworm

    tapeworm Member

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    See for me Taj Mahal took the blues and made it just bluesy. He’s definitely got the roots but he started blending all these other things into the pot and made great music but got away from the blues. I don’t think it is innovative. It feels like he knows his target audience is old white people and caters his songs to them, which isn’t a bad thing if he’s trying to make money. But the end product for me is something just bluesy and not really blues or innovative.
     
  18. tapeworm

    tapeworm Member

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    Actually it does. Once you step out of the genre it is a different genre and something else.
     
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  19. Doomrider78

    Doomrider78 Member

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    Only if you have a very narrow minded view of what a genre should be.

    If you take that attitude then innovation, by definition, can not exist within a genre. By this logic, the true blues guitar innovators aren't who people would typically call blues guitarists.

    Blues, much like punk, is an attitude, a feeling: the music is a representation of that. If you choose to narrow that down to a particular sound, then that's your issue.
     
  20. tapeworm

    tapeworm Member

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    Great, so Blues is a feeling and anything can be blues music. Call me narrow minded but I do not subscribe to that line of reasoning. We can agree to disagree on this.
     

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