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  #1  
Old 08-28-2010, 08:20 PM
Nugget Nugget is offline
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Default Blues?

Can you recommend me any blues group or artist? I want to play blues.
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  #2  
Old 08-28-2010, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Blues?

Robert Johnson
Son House
Muddy Waters w/ little Walter
Howlin Wolf
Elmore James
Most music on the Chess record label

All huge influences.

The drumming isn't the star of the show though, not by a longshot. It's the raw emotion of the music that is what makes blues so great. It's the stories, and mainly the guitar and harp that musically leads the way. Drums are important, but relegated to a function more of less. If you want to play blues, you have to learn to stick to the beat, and get into the mindset of leaving (most) fills out at transition points (verse to chorus, chorus to lead, lead to verse etc.) The real concern is the right beat, played at the right tempo, with the right attitude.

Practice all your shuffle variations, there's many. A well played shuffle can be a beautiful thing.

My advice is when playing blues, don't stick out, just support the others. Make it feel good. That's how you shine, by not shining. It's backwards
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:01 AM
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Default Re: Blues?

Larry has a great list. Also check out:

BB King
Robert Cray
Buddy Guy
Koko Taylor (always has a great band)
Stevie Ray Vaughn
John Lee Hooker
Also Eric Clapton and BB collaberated on a great album, "Riding with the King"; great blues songs and a very tight band (featuring Nathan East on bass and Steve Gadd on drums!)
There is much more, but you'll get a good start with these two lists as well as the ones that are certain to follow.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:03 AM
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Default Re: Blues?

Get yourself a copy of "Fathers and Sons." It's a Muddy Waters date with Otis Spann on piano, Paul Butterfield on harmonica, Mike Bloomfield on guitar, Duck Dunn on bass and Sam Lay on drums. It's on the Chess label.

This is what I tell everyone who wants a good introduction to electric blues, get this record! The playing is great and it's a beautifully produced recording. Pay close attention to the way Sam Lay keeps the whole thing swinging, even the slow tunes.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:37 AM
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Default Re: Blues?

My list was older for sure and drums weren't a big part of the older stuff. Newer stuff has wonderful drumming. How could I forget BB King?

Derek and J have even better suggestions as far as drumming is concerned.

It's good to know the roots though. Blues has it's own storied language, which borrows from voodoo, root doctors, and if that's not cool enough for you, also flirts with the devil.... Blues is born from pain, sacrifice and suffering. It totally captures my imagination.

Otis Spann is my favorite piano player of all time.
What do you think made the Beatles, Stones, Deep Purple, Zepplin, Cream and all the others so great?

A rabid passion for genuine black blues. White folk had to learn from the blacks how to seeth passion it seems.
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:16 AM
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Default Re: Blues?

Blues and great drumming.....listen to Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble!!

Blues roots drumming? Listen to Phil Rudd--AC/DC----when you say "Blues".....I am wondering what your musical thoughts are. AC/DC is rooted in the Blues and the drumming shows it. Simple and solid. Listen to Ginger Baker--Cream.
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  #7  
Old 08-29-2010, 02:19 AM
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Default Re: Blues?

There was also an old Charles Mingus album that because of a bad edit, has an 11-bar blues on it. You'll want to avoid that one ;)

Great recommendations here already.

But in order to really play the blues, you need to have your heart broken at least twice by the same woman, and you worked for the man 7-days a week from 7AM to 11PM for years, and you don't have a home, you don't got no money, nobody loves you.....that kind of thing.

And I've found many musicians to be just that way!
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:28 AM
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Default Re: Blues?

Me on the drums plain the blues.....you judge.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/video/vid...1693&ref=share
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  #9  
Old 08-29-2010, 02:34 AM
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Default Re: Blues?

I highly recommend the first album by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band (self titled). A few more:

Muddy Waters - Hard Again
Howlin' Wolf - His Best
Buddy Guy - The Real Deal
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:55 AM
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Default Re: Blues?

Gary Moore - Still got the blues.
Stevie Ray Vaughan - the sky is crying

Lot's of rock bands are blues based. Check out some Led Zep tunes like "i'm gonna crawl, since i've been lovin you, no quarter and ten years gone". Jimmy Hendrix does some awesome blues stuff as does Eric Clapton.
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  #11  
Old 08-29-2010, 04:01 AM
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Default Re: Blues?

Just filling gaps ... John Mayall and Ry Cooder.
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  #12  
Old 08-29-2010, 04:08 AM
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Default Re: Blues?

Don't forget the album "Kind of Blue" by Miles Davis, blues rooted jazz.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:49 AM
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Default Re: Blues?

My sentiments have been well expressed already in this thread. Great suggestions guys!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Just filling gaps ....
Plenty of those to fill, Pol.

I see BB listed......two of "the Three Kings" to go. Have a listen to Freddie King.....anyone nicknamed "The Texas Cannonball" is a must hear! And don't forget Albert King while you're at it.

They've already been mentioned, but Elmore James, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and SRV can't be overstated.

A few more?......hmmmm....let me see. Roy Buchannan and his telecaster have to be heard to be believed. Junior Wells. Sonny Boy Williamson.

Even a few Aussies in the mix if you can find 'em......Dutch Tilders, Kevin Borich, Dave Hole, Chain and a guy called Geoff Atchison (this guy sweats the blues).

That should keep you busy for a while.
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  #14  
Old 08-29-2010, 08:14 AM
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Default Re: Blues?

PFG, thanks for the Roy Buchannan reminder! Also check out Luther Allison.
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  #15  
Old 08-29-2010, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: Blues?

T-Bone Walker
BB King
Albert King
Buddy Guy
Jimmy Rogers
Duke Robillard

...to name a few.
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  #16  
Old 08-29-2010, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: Blues?

Another gap filled.....Walter Trout
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  #17  
Old 08-29-2010, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: Blues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Robert Johnson
Son House
Muddy Waters w/ little Walter
Howlin Wolf
Elmore James
Most music on the Chess record label

All huge influences.

The drumming isn't the star of the show though, not by a longshot. It's the raw emotion of the music that is what makes blues so great. It's the stories, and mainly the guitar and harp that musically leads the way. Drums are important, but relegated to a function more of less. If you want to play blues, you have to learn to stick to the beat, and get into the mindset of leaving (most) fills out at transition points (verse to chorus, chorus to lead, lead to verse etc.) The real concern is the right beat, played at the right tempo, with the right attitude.

Practice all your shuffle variations, there's many. A well played shuffle can be a beautiful thing.

My advice is when playing blues, don't stick out, just support the others. Make it feel good. That's how you shine, by not shining. It's backwards
Larry, great guidance. Thanks so much, I get a lot from your posts, this one is especially clear
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  #18  
Old 08-29-2010, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: Blues?

Much of... but especially Led Zeppelin for me is a great blues primer. I also like Robin Trower and in particular: Directly from my Heart to You by Zappa off Weasel's Ripped my Flesh. Always thought that was the real deal.

Finally, if you ever listen to Ten Years After Recorded Live. Great Blues jams and good drumming work out sounds.
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  #19  
Old 08-29-2010, 05:22 PM
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Default Re: Blues?

A few more not mentioned, Keb Mo, Bonnie Raitt and Joe Bonamassa.

Saw Joe for the first time just last week on the tube, never heard of him before that. He had dual drummers and Anton Fig was one of them. It was some great blues drumming and just an all around great band. I will be picking up some Joe Bonamassa for sure.
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  #20  
Old 08-29-2010, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: Blues?

A really good cross section, mentioned already, are the 3 Kings, BB, Freddy, and Albert. All great examples of blues drumming. Now Blues Rock, like Bonnamassa, SRV etc is a little more high energy, and they are a ton of fun to play to, but starting there is like missing elementary school. I definitely suggest you listen to the 3 Kings. They are a good lesson on blues drumming, filled with great examples of understatement, support, dynamics, and the mental approach that makes blues works. The drummer can royally screw up a blues song if he is too "bored" with just keeping the beat. It's not what you're playing, it's how it's played. You could keep time and be bored with it and it will sound flat, but if you keep time and play with passion and conviction, that's what the music needs. (not too much though...the focus isn't drums) When fills are necessary, one fill that sounds great almost anywhere in blues is the press roll. Smooth works better than choppy, my opinion only.
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  #21  
Old 08-29-2010, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Blues?

John Hammond - especially, Wicked Grin.

GJS
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:50 PM
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  #22  
Old 08-30-2010, 01:57 AM
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Default Re: Blues?

Fill in more gaps. Mississippi John Hurt, John Lee Hooker, Allman Brothers, Derek Trucks Band, Govt Mule Susan Tedeski
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:26 AM
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  #23  
Old 08-30-2010, 02:27 AM
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Default Re: Blues?

The purist in me is uncomfortable with some of these suggestions, but the truth is that you're all right, blues does not belong to one era or sub-genre.

But I will suggest that to really understand blues drumming you need to go to the source, to guys like George Hunter or Fred Below for example.

(Fred Below was a bebop drummer before he joined the Aces, did you know that?)

And speaking of George Hunter, here he is playing on Little Walter's version of "Key To the Highway," take five.
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  #24  
Old 08-30-2010, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Blues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaajn View Post
Larry, great guidance. Thanks so much, I get a lot from your posts, this one is especially clear
Thanks for the kind words man. This is the one way that I can really give back to the drumming community. I was taught that whatever you are passionate about, you should give back whenever you can. You have no idea how satisfying it is to know that at least one person is listening. I can come off like a know it all at times, it's only because what I do think I know, I want to share and give back. Circle of Life and all.
Thanks again aaajn, you really made my day.
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  #25  
Old 08-30-2010, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: Blues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post

The drumming isn't the star of the show though, not by a longshot. It's the raw emotion of the music that is what makes blues so great. It's the stories, and mainly the guitar and harp that musically leads the way. Drums are important, but relegated to a function more of less. If you want to play blues, you have to learn to stick to the beat, and get into the mindset of leaving (most) fills out at transition points (verse to chorus, chorus to lead, lead to verse etc.) The real concern is the right beat, played at the right tempo, with the right attitude.

Practice all your shuffle variations, there's many. A well played shuffle can be a beautiful thing.

My advice is when playing blues, don't stick out, just support the others. Make it feel good. That's how you shine, by not shining. It's backwards
Larry said it all!!


(honestly...... in my basement , i sometimes try to play like Keith Moon , along Stevie Ray Vaaughn records just for fun, (thank God there is no audience :))
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  #26  
Old 08-30-2010, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Blues?

All that Chicago stuff with Sam Lay on it.

West coast stuff like Junior Watson, Texas swing with Gatemouth Brown, cool LA with Charles Brown (last couple of albums had Gaylord Birch just before he passed, great stuff), Jimmy Witherspoon. Brown and Spoon were masters of late phrasing and the drummers had to learn to hold it steady as somehow Charles and Jimmy always landed on their feet without sounding rushed.

Check out June Kore. Local guy who's recorded with Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Musslewhite and many others. June swings just about anything he plays and really gets the traditional vocabulary of blues drumming.
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  #27  
Old 08-30-2010, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: Blues?

A few other favorites not mentioned already:

Otis Taylor
Chris Thomas King
Andre Williams
Big Wheeler (very obscure, unfortunately--look for the album called Bone Orchard)
Davy Graham
Willie Dixon (can't believe no one mentioned him yet)
Lead Belly
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  #28  
Old 08-31-2010, 10:38 AM
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Default Re: Blues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Robert Johnson
The drumming isn't the star of the show though, not by a longshot. It's the raw emotion of the music that is what makes blues so great. It's the stories, and mainly the guitar and harp that musically leads the way. Drums are important, but relegated to a function more of less. If you want to play blues, you have to learn to stick to the beat, and get into the mindset of leaving (most) fills out at transition points (verse to chorus, chorus to lead, lead to verse etc.) The real concern is the right beat, played at the right tempo, with the right attitude.

Practice all your shuffle variations, there's many. A well played shuffle can be a beautiful thing.

My advice is when playing blues, don't stick out, just support the others. Make it feel good. That's how you shine, by not shining. It's backwards
What a releif! I don't have to practice crazy solos or independence. Just play with passion. Thanks a lot ;P

Thanks everybody for all the comments. There was some guy who posted a video. It was really helpful. Thanks everybody for the help!
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  #29  
Old 09-01-2010, 06:36 PM
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Default Re: Blues?

Another blues fan here! I'm also focusing on blues and am a newbie (8mos now). My big problem with a lot of the "classic" or "standard" blues artists/recordings is that most are old and the recordings just plain suck as far as quality recordings that actually sound GOOD using todays technology. I'd love to find some good NEW recordings to practice along with (posted this question awhile back with 0 response). Some of the stuff I've been practicing along with is fairly decent and pleasant to listen to and may help you along...

Robert Cray...."Midnight Stroll"
Etta James..."The Right Time"
Johnny Lang..."Lie To Me"
Eric Clapton...."From the Cradle"
Elvin Bishop...."Ace in the Hole"
Little Charlie and the Nightcats....."Straight up"

Robbin Ford also has some decently recorded stuff out there too......
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  #30  
Old 09-01-2010, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Blues?

One of the funnest blues songs to play...

The incomparable Ray Charles' "What I'd Say"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWR751l6v08

When you play blues (or anything really) you have to be conscious of not stepping on the vocalist or the soloist. Which makes up most of the song lol.

Good list oneguy
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  #31  
Old 09-02-2010, 03:54 AM
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Default Re: Blues?

For more modern stuff check out any of the Robben Ford and the Blue Line CDs with Tom Brechtlien on drums. Tom does this cool thing where he is playing a regular double shuffle while splashing the hat on the ands like a flat tire shuffle. Best example of that is Misdirected Blues on the Mystic Mile CD and Start It Up on the 1st Blue Line CD. Also Robben's Blue Moon album with Vinnie (who can play awesome blues). The more recent Truth album switches off between Vinnie and Charlie Drayton, who plays one of the greasiest shuffles I've ever heard on Lateral Climb.

Also in the modern vein is Matt Schofield. The live album (which is out of print but a great find) has some great swinging shuffles by Evan Jenkins.

A little more traditional but modern recording is Chris Cain's Live at the Rep with my buddy Randy Hayes. Randy is also on Chris' Unscheduled Flight studio release and several Coco Montoya recordings. But Live at the Rep showcases what I feel are some of Randy's best attributes. Amazing ears and anticipation, the ability to drive like a freight train at low volumes, and live with Chris, fantastic dynamic restraint. Montoya likes more definitive dynamic shifts so Randy accomodates, but Cain is a master of working subtle dynamic shadings. And the album is a case study in how a drummer can support that by staying out of the soloists way and letting the soloist control the dynamics.
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  #32  
Old 09-02-2010, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Blues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post

Check out June Kore. Local guy who's recorded with Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Musslewhite and many others. June swings just about anything he plays and really gets the traditional vocabulary of blues drumming.
If that's the guy that plays on the "Straight Up" album (too lazy to check), I agree....!!!! Smooth and subtle with a few subtle extras at the right time comes to mind.......
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