Who were the real modern blues innovators?

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

  1. Wino67

    Wino67 Supporting Member

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    I've kind of skimmed this thread. However, I haven't seen Johnny Guitar Watson mentioned. That's hugely surprising considering what he was doing as far back as the early 50s. He influenced everyone from Hendrix to Zappa to Prince. He was definitely an innovator in both sound and technique.
     
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  2. wilto

    wilto Member

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    New blues being written every day. You just need an open mind.
     
  3. Matt Dillon

    Matt Dillon Member

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    Your points are valid and coherent, but it has to be looked at in historical context.
    Blues was music that had a groove that people could dance to.
    If a couple in the 1950’s went out to a blues nightclub to see Muddy Waters or the like they’re gonna dance and have a good time.
    If Led Zeppelin or Cream showed up they’re not gonna be happy.
     
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  4. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Member

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    We've talked about this before, sort of. I agree with your assessments about the overall, for lack of a better comprehensive descriptor, 'vibe' of "the blues" - but our crossroads is that I am no less fascinated by the (various) forms of the genre, as well as by pieces which don't apply to such at all. A discussion of the form of poetry under the overall heading of literature might naturally lead to consideration of very specific and very strictly structured forms such as Haiku 俳句, but considerstion of such does not by default remove shine from poetry at large. I think it largely boils down to what aspects one is or is not interested in, frankly. In addition to my interest in forms and their many variations, I love the harmonic idiosyncrasies purveyed by certain camps, such as "jazz guys"' fondness for I-vi-ii-V & I-VI-II-V turnarounds, and subs like diminished° up a half step from the IV in bar #6,... - the stark contrasts to more gutbucket, roadhouse harmonic treatments, which I also dig immensely.
     
  5. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Member

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    Roy Rogers



    Guys who infuse the N'Awlins thing. John Mooney.

     
  6. theanthonyv

    theanthonyv Silver Supporting Member

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    Jimi and Jeff. Everyone else was really just rehashing with slight personal twists, much of which was still pretty great though!
     
  7. JPH118

    JPH118 Member

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    From a technical point of view, I see guys like Eric Johnson and Robben Ford taking the blues to new places beyond I-IV-V pentatonics.

    From a “spirit of the blues” angle, I see guys like Derek Trucks and JD Simo carrying the torch, staying true to the roots & essence of the genre, not just copying/imitating the past but creating their own voice.

    Unless I totally missed the point of this...
     
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  8. middlechainringguy

    middlechainringguy Silver Supporting Member

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    Absolutely, Santana should be on the list. He talks often about the role of blues in his musical journey. And you can hear it; it's foundational for him.

    I think his innovation may have been to position blues within "world music." Blues, conga, especially African ... you can hear the whole geographic triangle from Lagos to Chicago to Rio (including the Delta and the Caribbean and Spanish Latin America) in his work.

    Even if you're not wild about his music, and even if he's not a "blues musician" (whatever that means), his project is in very large part a blues project. And it's highly innovative.
     
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  9. tapeworm

    tapeworm Member

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    Ok so I’ve learned that anything can be Blues so I submit this. Feels like if stripped down it’s a something that could have been on an old Muddy record. This is country music drawing from blues roots and innovating it into something modern.


    This too while we’re at it
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
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  10. Mark Robinson

    Mark Robinson Member

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    The guys ripped the roof off the blues, for me, would be Thelonius Monk, Jimi Hendrix, and Chuck Berry.
     
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  11. Laurence

    Laurence Silver Supporting Member

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    The blues was vocal based music that evolved into instrumental backed vocal music (everything from the country to big city sophistication) and ultimately evloved into instrumental music technique with vocal accompaniment. There's a significant difference.

    Read about it from scholarly sources (not me).
     
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  12. ceeceevee

    ceeceevee Member

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    I was gonna post something along those lines. What the OP does not make clear is what his definition of blues is. If blues for you means mostly playing a 12-bar progression and staying close to the blues/pentatonic, then yes, people like Tom Waits, EVH, etc., are not it.

    HOWEVER, if blues is looked at from a more holistic perspective, and considered from the perspective of the emotional “darkness” the music is meant to explore, I can certainly see someone like Jerry Cantrell playing in that space but doing it in a way which significantly expands on the vocabulary. Tom Waits, certainly.

    Heck, by that definition, Radiohead also fits the bill. I got into them in the first place while I was in the most “blue” place I’d ever been - listening to the Amnesiac album on a grey, raining Sunday afternoon while wallowing in my heartbroken self-pity was a revelation. The feelings mined by this kind of music aren’t dissimilar to what something like SRV’s “Life without you” does to me.

    But then, to counterbalance this argument, I can also see the point where, once you expand so far that you can no longer recognise the original form, it is now essentially another music genre. This is one of the potential answers to the OP’s question: there were actually many innovators that expanded upon the foundations of the blues but the very act of innovating took them to the point where they were not recognised as blues artists.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
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  13. blackie59

    blackie59 Member

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    I think you should look at the guys that Clapton and Gibbons swiped all their music from like Freddie King and John Lee Hooker and call it a day.
     
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  14. theanthonyv

    theanthonyv Silver Supporting Member

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    Great call! JGW definitely forged some new styles.
     
  15. Nonvintage

    Nonvintage Member

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    Gotta give it up for The Iceman, Albert Collins.
     
  16. I am the Liquor

    I am the Liquor Member

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  17. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    The blues that you're hearing is from the song's co-writer, Stapleton's former bandmate Mike Henderson, seen here on the National:


    Henderson wrote "Powerful Stuff" and "Rock Candy" for the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and a jillion other things. Here's his old blues-rock band circa 1990:
     
  18. amstrtatnut

    amstrtatnut Member

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    Ive wracked my brains and, while I love blues and blues rock and jazz thats blues influenced. To me the genre does not seem conducive to innovation.

    I think Miles Davis may have been one of the most ground breaking innovators in the 20th century with Kind of Blue but, thats pretty old news.

    Maybe Leonard Bernstein with West Side Story or Gershwin with Porgy and Bess, also old news.

    Dont lets forget Count Ba5sie and Duke Ellington. Again, all old news.

    It almost seems like acceptance and promotion of innovative blues has shrunk due to some blues purity test.

    Certainly there are great acts still going that are influenced by blues but, as I said, the purity test discourages or at least disallows true innovation.

    Lets put it this way. If someone found an old note somewhere from Allan Holdsworth that said he really had been reinterpretting the blues all these years, we all would discount it.

    Lastly, we extremely guitar centric dudes, likely have zero idea of whats happening in blues in the non guitar world.
     
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  19. Doomrider78

    Doomrider78 Member

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    This certainly sounds like a modern taken on blues to me:



     
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  20. biffoz

    biffoz Member

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    I'd probably say it's Blues Rock to describe it, but I would never argue that it's not extremely heavy blues. Amazing vocals and harmonies. I was going through major crapola when Dirt came out and it was always the answer, which is also idicative of it's blues-worthiness.

    Also in constant rotation at that time (and not blues): Sonic Youth: Dirty and The Beastie Boys: Check Your Head . . . I had a long commute and a kickin' car stereo at the time and these three releases were my constant companions.
     
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