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5 Of My Favorite Blues Artists

Updated on September 25, 2017
k@ri profile image

I was a registered nurse for 25+ years. Working mainly in the operating room, I've been everything from staff nurse to Director of Nursing.

I Love The Blues

House of Blues
House of Blues | Source

I love the blues. In the beginning, I never realized the songs I loved were blues. I just knew they moved me and made me want to listen to them. Then I worked in a hospital and one of the General surgeons loved the blues. He loved my music, which led me to the understanding that I love the blues.

Another surgeon loved the blues, but hated when anyone sang along. He was always telling me to "put on something no-one knows". I was able to oblige due to the fact that I do not have much pop in my collection. I always thought I liked rock and roll, but I guess the rock I like rolls with the blues.

There are so many different types of blues, Chicago blues, electric blues, Texas blues and several more.  I could not tell you exactly what makes each unique and different.  The blues have a certain beat that makes my feet tap.  They have an overwhelming bass that moves my soul.  Some songs soothe me, while others make me want to move.

The Vibrancy of the Blues

The blues color my life.
The blues color my life. | Source

The Animals

The Animals with Eric Burdon made some great music in the early 1960's.  Becoming a force on the music front by 1963, they hit London early in the year of 1964.  Later that same year they were in New York, playing on the Ed Sullivan Show.  The first of the original band left in 1965. The dissolution continued, and in 1966 was complete.  Eric Burdon attempted to keep the name alive with new players, billing themselves as "Eric Burdon and the Animals".

During the few short years they were together, the Animals made history.  Their rendition of the song, "House of the Rising Sun" topped the British and American charts.  This was the second time a British band had topped the American charts, the first time was the Beatles with "Can't Buy Me Love". 

Coming from the coal-mining town of Newcastle-on-Tyne, they strongly identified with the average working man.  Their songs exemplified this affiliation with a bawdiness and passion that was new to the world.  Songs like, "We Got to Get Out of This Place", engaged the average person, giving voice to the growing disquiet of the times.

The Animals-"Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"

The Animals-House of the Rising Sun

Johnny Lang

Johnny Lang was a kid of 15 when he released his first album. His second album, "Lie to Me", was released the day before his 16th birthday and went multi-platinum. His third album, "Wander this World", released when he was 17 earned him a Grammy nomination. This kid was the wonder of the blues world.

His voice, at the tender age of 16, had the grit and emotion of a more experienced age. His guitar skills rival many of the great masters. He is also an accomplished song writer, and writes many of his songs. He co-authored my favorite, "Walking Away". When I first heard his music, I could not believe he was so young.

Johnny Lang-"Walking Away"

Johnny Lang-Lie to Me

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Stevie Ray Vaughan, known for his fabulous guitar riffs, had a hard time starting off in the music world. His rise from poverty to superstar was accented by his addiction and recovery. He is recognized as one of the greatest blues guitarists ever and a statue in Austin, Texas stands as a memorial to him.

Austin did not always love Stevie as much as it does now. When he first arrived in Austin he struggled. At age 17 he played with Albert King in a club in Austin, and although Albert King was impressed, Stevie Ray still had many years to wait for stardom. He was 29 when his first album was released. He became a success overnight.

The album, Texas Flood, was recorded in 2 days in a studio owned by Jackson Browne in Los Angeles, California. This recording resulted in Epic Records signing the band and the rest became history. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble toured the world for the next 7 years until Stevie Ray's untimely death.

Stevie Ray Vaughan with Albert King-Texas Flood

Stevie Ray Vaughan-Little Wing

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

I first heard Kenny Wayne Shepherd while watching Austin City Limits in 1997. This was the same year he released his second album, "Trouble Is...". I was so pleased with his music that I went the next day and bought the only album I could find of his, "Ledbetter Heights". Ledbetter Heights had been released in 1995 and was every bit as good as what I had heard the night before.

Like many other blues artists, Kenny Wayne is self taught.  He was seven when he began.  He emulated Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King and other great blues artists.  He ended up with an eclectic style all his own.  His albums contain varied styles that can be considered rocking blues, Texas blues, acoustic blues and Louisiana blues.  He is a true blues virtuoso.

Kenny Wayne Shephard-Blue on Black

Kenny Wayne Shephard-Born With A Broken Heart

George Thorogood and The Delaware Destroyers

George Thorogood may not be one of the classics, but I love his style. He is energetic and amusing. And he is great to see live. I remember when I was in nursing school I had my two best friends go with me to see him. He was playing in a bar in Virginia and we drove out. Neither one knew who he was, nor was either one was a blues fan but I convinced them to go.

One of the women was married to a lawyer and the mother of two. The other was the mother of one and had grown up in New York. Now, while I had a wonderful time, I think their opinions differed. The next day both vowed they would never go to another concert with me...never...ever...ever. This taught me that he may be an acquired taste.

In New Mexico, I still listened to George. My friend from Puerto Rico always called "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" the "Clint Song" after a rather raunchy individual we worked with. She would always tell me, "Hey, play that Clint Song." I must say, she always made me laugh.

George Thorogood and The Destroyers-One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer (The Clint Song)

George Thorogood and The Destroyers-Bad to the Bone

I could go on, but these are some of my favorites. I would have included Buddy Guy's "Heavy Love" album, but there were no YouTube links for the songs I wanted. I also would have included some Debbie Davies and Sue Foley, but for the same reason.

There is some really good acoustic blues to be found also. I am rather fond of acoustic blues and maybe that will be another hub. The blues are fun, and sad, and moving...I thank the doc who alerted me to the fact that I loved the blues! It made my searching for new music so much easier.

All this talk of the blues reminded me of a movie I saw. Here is a great movie to see with your kids, called "Adventures in Babysitting". What reminded me is there is one part of the movie where they are stuck in New York and end up in a blues bar. The singer tells them "no-on leaves until they sing the blues." They make up a song called "The Babysitting Blues" that I actually find quite amusing! It gives you a good idea of how a blues song comes to be.

The Babysitting Blues

© 2009 Kari Poulsen

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    • k@ri profile image
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      Kari Poulsen 6 years ago from Ohio

      nextstopjupiter, Thanks! I do love the blues! :D

      shauky, I'm really glad you like them! I've introduced a few people to George over the years. Stevie rocked! And you can never go wrong with Albert Collins. :D

    • shauky profile image

      shauky 7 years ago

      This hub makes me want to have a bourbon, scotch and beer all over again.

      I'd kept it open on my browser for days, before listening and this is the third time in a row I'm coming back to it. These vids just blow me away. Specially since I had no idea who George Thorogood was, didn't hear that much of Stevie but always listened to whatever I could and 'woah' that's Albert Collins on Babysittin Blues.

      Thanks a lot for these, I owe you a drink. Please check out my measly hub on Maldives music anthology.

    • nextstopjupiter profile image

      nextstopjupiter 7 years ago from here, there and everywhere

      Great hub and a good introduction to some of the best blues musicians. Thank you!

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Texan, LOL, point taken! and it just said not as much as it does now. hehehe, guess you all do love Stevie. :D

    • profile image

      A Texan 8 years ago

      Austin Didn't always love Stevie Ray???? WE ALWAYS LOVED STEVIE RAY!

      The Animals???

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Misha, I understand. Copyright is a bitch and rightly so! Thanks for all you have sent. I have really appreciated it! :D

    • Misha profile image

      Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

      Hi K@ri, sorry, I did not come back here for a few days. Somehow when I engage into heavy musical "tour" I need a break after. :)

      Glad you liked them, I think I might find a few more for you, but that will be probably it. As I said, those copyright things severely diminished a number of good Russian blueses on youtube, so it is getting harder and harder every day. :)

    • k@ri profile image
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      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Neil, Yes....Cool! :D

    • Neil Sperling profile image

      Neil Sperling 8 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

      That's the way blues are - sad stories - often minor keys or notes - yet they will make any listener who tunes into the "breathing" within the "beat" of the music..... well that combination makes "everyone" happy. It's the soul!

      .............Cool! :-)

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Neil, I love that "sad music that makes you happy!" The blues mak me very happy, I guess they should have the opposite effect, but they make me very happy!

    • Neil Sperling profile image

      Neil Sperling 8 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

      Great hub - Blues artists were everywhere in the early 1900's. Many of Led Zeppelin's songs are stolen blues songs and re-done rock style. Eric Clapton is one of today's most accomplished blues artist. Keith Richards LOVES the blues.

      Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, LedBelly, Hound Dog Taylor, Joe Turner, Memphas Slim, John Lee Hooker, Etta James plus  Lightnin Hopkins to name a few old timers worth grabbing if and when you can find them.

      As you can tell - I LOVE the blues too!

      The Blues defined by Neil Sperling

      "Sad music that makes you happy"

      Great hub - Thanks

    • k@ri profile image
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      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      tony, You are so sweet! I believe you are a gentleman, many people loved my smile and still do. I was at a salon the other day while my daughter got her hair cut and the stylist, Jacques, came over and said very much the same thing. LOL! Thank you!

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 8 years ago from san diego calif

      K@ri this has nothing to do with the hub here , but with that smile you are just adorable ! And I hope I do not sound like I am In a singles bar . I am a gentleman

    • k@ri profile image
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      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Misha, Thank you so much...I really liked these. I appreciate you taking the time!

    • k@ri profile image
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      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Misha, I love the first! What is that "My Siberian Love"? I like the second also, I like the first better, though. I absolutely love the third...that guy in the beginning, smiling, who is he? OK, you're killing me! I would never have known that Russia had so much great blues! I loved the fourth also! Ok, Ok, I love the fifth also, absolutely, positively! >|LOL, I think you are learning what I like! Do you have any more? I am really enjoying this :D

    • k@ri profile image
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      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Misha, I really appreciate it! Off to listen again, must improve my Russian :D

    • Misha profile image

      Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

      LOL Believe it or not but I spent all that time minus dinner and putting kids to sleep digging for other records. Somehow it goes well with my mood today. :) Here is a few other great things that I found so far:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRPUglv_W9w

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kcpQtCR3rE

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moUEfr9qRJ4

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ydPMiI9BGA

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTBzHRA0cCI

      And sure, you can learn Russian, actually my English began with songs :)

    • k@ri profile image
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      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Misha, Those were great! I don't mind it a little heavy. Got any more? BTW, do you think I may learn Russian if I listen to enough? :D

    • k@ri profile image
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      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks Misha! Now I have something to listen to while I write another hub! I'll let you know how I like them. Off to listen!

    • Misha profile image

      Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

      LOL Just spent a good couple of hours looking for a good stuff for you. Here is a few more, first two are a bit on a heavy side though. :)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMnBoEJ71Es

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZYPwdfWVXM

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

      and a higher quality version of the very first that I posted, you might like it better. :)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKboe5-QH38

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Misha, I don't think language is a problem either! I'm looking forward to more selections :D

    • Misha profile image

      Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

      Good! I'm happy I could show you something new and enjoyable :) I don't think language is a problem, I remember myself listening to the same John Lee Hooker or say Deep Purple at the times when I knew no English at all - did not spoil the impression really ;)

      Let me see if I can find something else for you. It was easier just a year or two ago, but now they pushed copyright hard, and most of the best recordings were removed from youtube. I'll try anyway :)

    • k@ri profile image
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      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Misha, I loved them both! I had to wait, as I was watching a movie with the kids when I saw this comment. I am very glad I did! I may not understand the language, but I understand the music. Thanks...got any more? I really like what you post!

    • Misha profile image

      Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

      Hey, I'm glad you liked at least one one them K@ri! :)

      Here is a couple extra, by another Russian group, I guess you might like at least one :)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeCGRH2XriE

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laR_y4e83qQ

      Tony, nothing wrong with John Lee Hooker, I love him, but this guy (Boris Grebenschikov) is a bit deeper and wider, at least based on what I know about both of them. :)

    • k@ri profile image
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      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      bgamall, I bet that was a great show! I love Eric Burdon!

    • bgamall profile image

      Gary Anderson 8 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      I saw Eric Burdon and the New Animals a couple of years ago at a little booth at John Ascuaga's Nugget Rib Cookoff. Rock stars, even old ones, seem to have that little spark of energy that sets them apart.

    • k@ri profile image
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      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Paper Moon, Thanks for teaching me about the Moody Blues, I did not realize that! I will have to find a song from it!

      Boom, Boom's a great tune! I love Zepplin also!

      May, I'm glad to get you singing...I hope they are the lively blues!

    • mayhmong profile image

      mayhmong 8 years ago from North Carolina

      You got me singing, I got the Blues!

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 8 years ago from In the clouds

      The moody blues first album was just that. Blues. (good stuff too). Then in came the synthesizer and they got hired to do an album to show what "Stereo" could do, with music floating to the left and or right speaker. That is were the moody blues as we know them today got their sound.

      Great stuff here. Here is one of my ab fab fav blues tunes incase you are not familiar with it

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uG7tAQ3NRfs

      also Howling Wolf. Led Zepplin and the Grateful Dead did a lot of his tunes.

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      James, Thanks for letting me know. I am off to listen!

      thinking out loud, Mayall did have many...he sure knows how to pick them!

    • thinking out loud profile image

      thinking out loud 8 years ago

      Yes, stevie ray and john mayall. Mayall had a lot of future stars playing for him when they were unknowns. Love the stuff. Great hub. thanks

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      It is uploaded and linked from my Hub "White Summer" Only the 4th song is blues. I also put 2 rockers and one ballad on there that I wrote. But the blues might interest you.

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      James, Thanks for your comment. Let me know when you get it uploaded! I love the blues and am always looking for more good artists!

      ethel, Seems you were brought up with some of the greats! I love them all. Some of the artists in this hub are not in that category, but I come back to them again and again!

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Wrote about the blues on Helium.com by way of a zone. I was brought up with the blues despite living in Yorkshire and being English :). We listened to John Mayall, Sonny Terry, Brownee Magee, Lightnin Hopkins, B B King, Leadbelly and more. I have not heard of some of the artists in this hub but loved reading it. Thanks

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Outstanding Hub, which is par for the course for you.  I have sang and played lots of blues.  I played for 16 years with one of the best blues guitar players on the planet—who was born blind.  I will try to upload a blues tune into one of my future Hubs so y'all can hear him.  It will be worth a listen.

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      l1blonde, Thanks! I love the blues...there are so many artists I had to leave out! I may do another. :D

    • l1blonde profile image

      l1blonde 8 years ago

      I love the blues. Thanks for a great hub!!

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      CabinGirl, The blues rock!

      badcompany, LOL! Sorry to hear the Zoo banned you. You probably excited the animals too much! However, I still love the Animals!

      Hawkesdream, I can understand, it's in my head right now!

    • Hawkesdream profile image

      Hawkesdream 8 years ago from Cornwall

      The house of the rising son ! damn song pops into my head uninvited all the time, love the blues.

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Shalini, I felt as if the hub was getting too long, I had a really hard time choosing there are so many great artists. I love those also!

      golden, Have a couple for me too!

      Tom, Those were great, thanks for the links! I love just about anything that Eric Burdon does, and Johnny and Janis have always been favorites too.

      Laughing Mom, I'm glad I could help and I'm glad you liked them! :D

      Teresa, George is just plain fun for the most part, and always lifts my mood!

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 8 years ago from The Other Bangor

      Great choices, K@ri. Thanks for reminding me how much I like George Thorogood, too -- my iPod is going to get an update today!

    • Laughing Mom profile image

      Laughing Mom 8 years ago

      I've been sitting here for several hours going through thousands of songs trying to decide what to load on my ipod. Some of these made my list. Great music,k@ri!

    • Tom Koecke profile image

      Tom Koecke 8 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

      Loving the blues is another thing to love about you!

      After the Animals, Eric Burden started another band. I had their first album called Black Man's Blues. The band was War, and went on to do some pretty big things without Mr. Burden. However, Eric Burden and War did have one hit called Spill the Wine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2e8mOqVaUdA -

      My favorite song on the album was called Mother Earth Blues. Here is a version done by Johnny Winter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e44Os5eut3c

      And who can forget Janis Joplin's remake of the old Billie Holliday classic Summertime? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgFWibrTAKQ

    • goldentoad profile image

      goldentoad 8 years ago from Free and running....

      Okay, I just came home from cruisin' around with the family. I get on this hub and now I want to put the kids to bed and head down to the bar and soak in some suds.

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 8 years ago from san diego calif

      I. LL take a smattering of Muddy Waters too !

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Great k@ri - loved those - and I'm glad to see you gave Muddy Waters a mention :)

      Some of my favourites include John Mayall, Peter Green and Eric Clapton...oh and BB King too!

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 8 years ago from san diego calif

      Misha I am not sure who that guy was, but It reminded me of a Russian John Lee Hooker ! To Interesting thanks for posting that .

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Misha, Although I couldn't understand them, the music was excellent! I really liked the second one, thanks for the links! You were exactly right, I like them! :D

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      tony, Thanks! I'm glad you liked them!

    • Misha profile image

      Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

      Great selection K@ri, and I love blues too :) You might like a couple of my favorite ones :)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUKrc-g4Wok

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

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      I could be wrong, it took someone else to point out that I liked the blues! LOL, it is in their name! As I say, I am not an expert! :D

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 8 years ago from san diego calif

      Nicely done K@ri !

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      But their name says "Blues"! LOL okay, thanks for the enlightenment :D

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Cris, I think the Moody Blues are more of an orchestra band than a blues band. The blues are hard and gritty, kind of like golden toad. LOL, they are about real life, not satin.

      R Burow, I know a little about nothing! :D Thanks for what you said!

    • R Burow profile image

      R Burow 8 years ago from Florida, United States

      Kari, I am convinced that you know a lot about a lot of things. Thanks for the blues. Good hub.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      k@ari

      Cool huib. I don't know most of the musicians here but The Animals stand out. Or I've probably heard their music but didn't know it's them - so thanks for the vids! Anyway, I was kinda looking for The Moody Blues' Nights in White Satin :D