I am currently so obsessed with blues music.
I have always loved classic jazz and swing music but I have a new appreciation and love for blues artists and musicians. I think it’s because of this popular music class that basically studies popular American music through the ages from ragtime till today’s music.
So far I’ve learned that blues has touched every other genre of music including country, rock ‘n’ roll, rock, gospel, hip hop and rap. It is just an incredible style of music.
Here are some of my favourite songs that I have discovered recently. The talent of these musicians is undeniable. At a time when Jim Crow laws restricted African American people, it is interesting how African American music permeated every facet of popular music then and even till today. Despite these artists not being promoted by record companies or were allowed to perform in certain areas due to these laws like the white artists, it is astonishing how this style of music or any music created by African American artists stood the test of time.
Hound Dog – Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton
The original singer of Elvis Presely’s “Hound Dog” was Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton. With a name like that you already know she will be a powerhouse singer. I love everything about this song. The whoops, the hollering, the growl in her voice. It is undeniable that she sang it better (shade, no shade Elvis). Although I like both renditions, I think it is clear to see who sang it better.
Hoochie Coochie Man – Muddy Waters
This song is probably almost as familiar as the first. The guitar riff at least at the beginning is very recognizable and has been imitated to buggery that I am sure someone will recognize it whether or not they have heard of Muddy Waters before.
Arguably, the single most influential blues artist during his time and now. He influenced the styles and performances of what we know today as “rock”. Bands such as the Rolling Stones were heavily influenced by Muddy Waters even naming their band after one of his songs.