Who were the real modern blues innovators?

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

  1. Matt Dillon

    Matt Dillon Member

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    Has anyone mentioned Duane Allman?

    Blues and “ innovative” really don’t go together.
    Charlie Christian was innovative in the Swing blues style, but that was the 1940’s

    Hendrix, Cream, and Led Zepprlin were rock n roll with blues influences.

    Vaughn was a traditionalist - same with Brian Setzer.
    Excellent players, but not “innovative” in the true sense of the word
     
  2. I Am Misery

    I Am Misery Member

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    people keep saying this, but i don't agree at all. a lot of their stuff was just "heavy blues". definitely more "blues with distortion" than it is "rock n' roll".
     
  3. biffoz

    biffoz Member

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    And why shouldn't/wouldn't blues benefit from modern technology? Do the purists play their stuff on wax cylinders? Grammaphones? Pray tell, Y knot?
     
  4. bobcs71

    bobcs71 Member

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    I get the paralysis of blues that happened. I got rid of a strat style guitar just because I'd get labeled an SRV type. I didn't hear it but my style does have country & blues.

    Appreciate your point of view. It's tough for me to evaluate. Even when I hear Jimi I can hear some Buddy Guy influence. Buddy talked about guys he took licks and stage presence from in his book. I thought Buddy Miller was very original until I heard him cite and demonstrate his influences. Then I thought "that's where he got it!"
    My mom often said "there's nothing new under the sun"
     
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  5. marvin cobain

    marvin cobain Member

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    Just to show on a guitar what the jazz guys (in this case Mingus) were doing with the blues:

     
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  6. freedom's door

    freedom's door Member

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    Jeff Beck doesn't make "blues" albums, but he does play the blues, and IMO brings something unique to it:



    I don't care for the White Stripes, but I would definitely say their music is a modern take on the blues.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
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  7. archtop

    archtop Member

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    Chris Whitley
     
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  8. Matt Dillon

    Matt Dillon Member

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    Albert King said Hendrix was no bluesman. It’s all relative.
    Looking back, you hear it more as Blues. At the time they were all groundbreaking and outrageous.
    Zeppelin were called Heavy Metal in the ‘70’s, and no one considers them such today. When you watch them do “Dazed and Confused” in 1969, that’s no blues band.

    The early Stones were much more what could be called blues, or “ Rythmn and Blues” at that time.

    Not arguing bro, just a difference of opinion
     
  9. chandra

    chandra Member

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    There’s no way in hell anyone should consider Beano “modern”. It was a pioneering album that came out over fifty years ago...

    Pioneer? Modern? Yikes.
     
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  10. TFR

    TFR Supporting Member

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    I think of his "innovation" as being willing to cooperate/collaborate with Spencer and others. Yeah, it wasn't necessarily his idea but at a time when he could have retired to the front porch of his house he allowed himself to be part of something different and cool. That's no small thing considering a lot of those old guys could be mean as hell and very much set in their ways.
     
  11. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Member

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    In looking at the era of figures such as W.C. Handy, Scott Joplin, Bessie Smith, Jelly Roll Morton, etc., it really doesn't seem like so much of a stretch to me.

    Keep in mind that musicologists look beyond having lived within their own skin and eras for markers. For instance, 'contemporary classical music' is generally considered to be post-1945.
     
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  12. I Am Misery

    I Am Misery Member

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    i don't need Albert King to think for me, and of course they were groundbreaking and outrageous at the time. as groundbreaking and outrageous as Albert King would have sounded to Robert Johnson. he probably would have said that Albert King was no bluesman after hearing 'Born Under A Bad Sign'.

    the biggest hits by Jimi Hendrix (Purple Haze, Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Foxy Lady, Crosstown Traffic, etc) are just slow/heavy blues, simply a further extension of what Albert King was doing with the guys from Stax ...which is just an extension of what the first electric blues bands were doing.

    all this is a far cry from what Buddy Holly or (early) The Beatles were playing, which makes me ask "what are we calling 'rock'? especially at the time that this stuff came out". all this stuff is far closer to the classic blues records (with a heavier "groove" and some distorted guitar) than what we generally think of as "Rock n' Roll".

    it doesn't need to be (or shouldn't need to be) as "obvious" as 'Red House' to be considered "blues". 'Can You See Me' is a good example of mixing the two, heavy blues with a rock n' roll influence. his bigger hits almost don't even have that.

    no, that's an innovative blues band. ;) the first two albums are pretty much all blues. innovative blues, probably one of the best examples there ever was. 'The Lemon Song' is what this thread is about. i'm guessing it's the "innovative" arrangement and production that makes all this stuff seem so "different"? i don't think it needs to stick to the same I-IV-V 12-bar format to still be "just blues".

    ...and i'd say they certainly had a few songs that could be considered "heavy metal" for the time (along with certain songs by The Beatles, Blue Cheer, Steppenwolf, etc). that works perfectly well for describing particular songs, but falls apart when you look at the rest of their output. i think Black Sabbath were one of the first bands where you could say they "made a career out of it".

    they were another copy of the standard ensemble and played pretty "by the numbers" covers of traditional tunes (like Mayall, Butterfield, etc). all this stuff is pretty "standard blues/RnB". their later 60s output is more "blues based rock n' roll" than what Hendrix, Cream, and LZ were doing (who were actually more closely rooted in traditional blues while taking it to another level of "heaviness" completely). their stuff isn't a far cry from "heavy" tunes by Howlin' Wolf and others.
     
  13. I Am Misery

    I Am Misery Member

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    yeah, i guess you could say that. that album is what got me obsessed with blues in the first place, this song absolutely changed my life:



    which reminds me that (most of) The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion is a perfect example of "innovative blues".

    i do think the 'Burnside Sound Machine' album was pretty "modern" for the time, sort of a blues/funk/disco hybrid:



    i think the real "innovator" of the Mississippi guys was Junior Kimbrough. he developed a whole sound of his own, but still very "blues".
     
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  14. sonnyp

    sonnyp Member

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    Derek Trucks has to be on the list. He's opened more doors and broken more new ground than anyone for slide guitar.
     
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  15. I Am Misery

    I Am Misery Member

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    i think this is a great example of the difference between "innovation" and "mixing things together". i don't hear this as an "extension" of the blues, but simply as "blues mixed with dinner club jazz mixed with (something European/Russian?)".

    reminds me of 'Biding My Time' by Pink Floyd (which strays far less from its blues/ragtime roots).



    EDIT: should Roger Waters have credited Mingus (or whoever "wrote it") for this song?
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
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  16. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    Now yer talkin'. Blues is/was more about stories and delivery, not so much about looonnnggg guitar solos.
     
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  17. marvin cobain

    marvin cobain Member

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    The impression of "dinner" club jazz (and I guess you're not saying it in a good way) is probably only due to the fact that the piece is arranged for the guitar. It's a brilliant arrangement that I really admire, but since he has to fingerpick it comes out like a soft piece, while the original (especially the version with the lyrics, Original fables of Faubus) is a quite angry and visceral piece against racism. But I preferred to post this version because this is a forum of guitarists, and because I also thought that to hear the piece on just one instrument helps to hear the subtleties and the complexity of the composition, instead of being distracted by other elements like the arrangement, the improvisations or the lyrics.
    In any case I don't see Fables of Faubus as something "mixed together", at least in a bad way. I mean, it's not a sort of musical Frankenstein when you hear like twelve bars of Blues and than 10 bars of classical and than 10 bars of bebop, it's a coherent whole that sounds definitely bluesy without having the usual overused form and at the same time it's a brilliant and memorable tune (one of the best things ever written by Mingus imho). So it's a jazz piece but at the same time something that in my opinion contributes to the expansion of the possibilities of the blues, especially in terms of writing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  18. biffoz

    biffoz Member

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    Trixie Whitley too: must run in the family.
     
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  19. The Interceptor

    The Interceptor Member

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    What about Lynyrd Skynyrd? I would argue they took blues down some interesting roads.
     
  20. Pascal

    Pascal Member

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    James Blood Ulmer

     
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