Sunday, May 08, 2016

Blues Artists & The Rock Hall (Updated 2017 Eligibles)

Recent years have seen both Albert and Freddy King inducted. As well as Stevie Ray Vaughan.  But are there others?  The answer is a big yes, especially when you consider Early Influences.

So, I came up with some names that should be there.


In no particular order:

Charley Patton - He's the "Father of the Delta Blues".  So how did he slip by the Rock Hall.  An obvious choice for an Early Influence.  Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker were influenced by him.

Sonny Boy Williamson II - There were 2 Sonny Boy's, but Sonny II was the giant.  A powerful harmonica player, he also wrote and sang some of the genres greatest sides on Chess.  Another should-be Early Influence inductee.

Junior Wells - Yet another influential Harmonica player of Chicago Blues  Wells is best know for his recordings with Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters.  Could be Early Influence, but didn't hit his own recording stride until the mid-60's.

Son House - Along with Charley Patton, another master of Delta Blues.  His slide-guitar playing alone influenced many.  Early Influence category.

Skip James -  Another excellent guitarist whose songs have been covered by everyone from Cream to Lucinda Williams to Gregg Allman.  Not as well known as others on this list, but still a seminal Blues name.  Early Influence category.

Mississippi John Hurt -   I wouldn't call it mellow, but Hurt's Blues were not of the gut-bucket variety.  "Warmth" is the word others have used.  Couple that with the fact that he was one of the genres greatest guitar players and Hurt is a strong candidate.  Early Influence again.

Big Mama Thornton - One of the great Blues shouters who also had an influence just as Rock and Roll was at its infancy.  "Hound Dog" was her ticket, and many female Rock & Blues singers were influenced by her.   Early Influence category.

Memphis Minnie - One of the early Blues guitarists, and a pioneer in that category among many of the women who followed her.  Somewhat forgotten today, but she was a popular presence throughout her life.  Early Influence category.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Probably more Gospel than Blues, but she did cut some records in the latter category.  Regardless, she's one of the best vocalists and guitarists from the early years of Blues and Gospel.

Blind Willie Johnson - Often called the most powerful Gospel meets Blues artist. Rough voice added to the drama of his best records.  He was also one of the genres best slide guitarists.  Early Influence.

Otis Rush - One of the originators (with Buddy Guy) of the West Side Chicago Blues sound and big influence on Eric Clapton, Mike Bloomfield and others.  His career didn't reach the legendary status of Buddy Guy, but among fellow players, his distinct playing was just as lauded.   

Slim Harpo - Harmonica (and guitar) player who also crossed over to the Pop charts.  His songs were covered by the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Grateful Dead, the Doors and others.   

Johnny Winter - Winter's death has definitely spawned an appreciation of his recorded output.  But most agree it was in concert that he excelled.  Talk about someone who left it all on stage.


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