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top Bluesmen


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admittedly, this is like picking your favorite fruits, but give it a shot...

my choices, in no order:

1. Blind Willie McTell

2. Lightnin' Hopkins

3. Mississippi John Hurt

4. Peter Green

5. Son House

How did i forget Robert "sounds like i'm playing two guitars at once" Johnson?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Howlin' Wolf- "In the way that the Stones tried to be the sons of Chuck Berry, I think we tried to be the sons of Howlin' Wolf." - Jimmy Page

Little Walter- The Jimi Hendrix of the Harmonica.

Elmore James- There may have been other players who went electric first, but Elmo is the guy who plugged in slide.

Mississippi Fred McDowell- Makes the list for his album "I Do Not Play No Rock and Roll" alone. What makes the title so brilliant is that album fucking ROCKS.

Muddy Waters- Personally I'll take "I'm Ready" over "Mannish Boy" as Muddy's badass anthem; "I'm drinkin' TNT, I'm smokin' dynamite, I hope some schoolboy wants to start a fight, because I'm ready!"

Buddy Guy- When Jimi Hendrix hit, Leonard Chess called Buddy into his office and turned around and bent over. "Go ahead and kick me, " he said, "You've been trying to sell me this shit for ten years."

Skip James- I think that Skip James is every bit as good as Robert Johnson. Considering that he stole 32-20 Blues and a verse from Come on Into My Kitchen from him, so did Robert Johnson!

Blind Willie Johnson- "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground" is perhaps the most profound singing without lyrics that I have ever heard. Great slide guitar as well.

Charley Patton- Ground zero for the Delta Blues. Both Robert Johnson and Wolf considered him a mentor, what does that tell you?

Hmmmm, that's nine, I should really go for a round ten. Have I forgotten anyone?

Oh yeah. That guy who's my handle, avi, and sig! If you love blues and you don't know Magic Sam, follow the link in my sig because you are denying yourself unnecessarily.

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Most of 'em already mentioned..

Skip James, haunting voice and a great guitar picker.

Son House, listen to "Death Letter" and you'll understand why this dude belongs in the top five.

Howlin' Wolf, he's the big boss man of chicago blues, no contest.

Otis Spann, for his piano playing and soulful voice.

Elmore James, known as "King of the slide guitar", a well deserved title.

Little Walter, there has never been a harmonica player like him, pre- or past his lifetime.

Willie Dixon, no one has written that many blues classics like this man.

Bo Diddley, sounds like no other.

Muddy Waters, need no comments.

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Two recent discoveries:

R. L. Burnside & Junior Kimbrough

Good stuff.

Good discoveries! If I'm not mistaken, the label they were on (Elektra maybe) put out a whole series of American blues/roots music and there were a number of really good releases. I'll have to research that a bit more.

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