Out On The Town
Little Story of the Great Blues Rock
Often the blues is perceived in the musical environment as a primitive form of jazz, a style that developed almost in parallel. However, the very concept of blues with its roots goes back to the end of the 19th century, and it is inseparably linked with the culture of the Negroes in the southern United States. Pre-war acoustic blues was part of the Negro folklore,
therefore, the attitude of the white population towards him was very bad. By the end of the forties of the last century, the electric guitar finally settled in the blues. It is difficult to say what pushed many bluesmen to switch from the usual acoustic guitar to the electric one, but the blues has changed a lot since then.
Most often associated with electric blues are the names of Muddy Waters, Bee King, T-Bon Walker and Albert Collins. Each of these musicians (and many more not mentioned) were the personification of their time. They didn’t make a career with their music, they didn’t make a fortune for themselves - they just lived with blues.
All of these musicians have reached an unprecedented level of skill in electric blues, and often their music is directly bordered by rock, so many rock musicians call them their inspirators. But, despite all this, the attitude towards the blues on the part of the majority of white Americans changed for the better only in the sixties of the last century,
which is mainly due to the emergence of blues rock.
The history of blues-rock originates in the late fifties, and lasts to this day. The first to cross the blues with rock began, oddly enough, not the Americans, but the British. The 50s English music scene was a rather pitiful sight. There were two peculiar camps -
traditional jazz and just nascent rock and roll. The division of the categories of listeners was also clearly happening - adult English on the one hand and young people who eagerly listened to American radio and listened to completely new and exciting music - on the other. In 1958, Alexis Corner formed the legendary band "Blues Incorporated".
It is enough to name names that have passed BI school, and it becomes quite obvious where dozens of groups from the 1960s come from - Graham Bond, Charlie Watts, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and others. Almost each of them, having left the ranks of the group, created his own ensemble and proceeded to the spread of blues.
It is difficult to overestimate the influence of "Blues Incorporated" on the development of the entire blues rock of the 60s, but they soon began to shift from the position of the leaders of the genre. Moreover, the leading roles began to be followed by musicians, whom Alexis Corner himself recently "brought to the people." They, "Rolling Stones", "Yardbirds" and "Animals", began to successfully promote blues-rock to the masses.
Very strong rhythm and blues albums in 1965 and 1966 were released by the Graham Bond Organization. Among the "veterans" of the British blues is also worth noting the "Bluesbreakers" by John Mayall. This group was one of the first to write their own blues songs, and they were quite good ones. The peak of the popularity of "Bluesbreakers" came in 1966
when their album "Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton" was released. He got to 6th place in the British charts, indicating that the British blues has become quite popular among young people.
Eric Clapton himself has already managed to leave the "Bluesbreakers", without waiting for the release of this magnificent album. The year before, in 1965, Eric left the Yardbirds,
being dissatisfied with the direction chosen by the group ("Yardbirds", in fact, by that time gradually began to depart from rhythm and blues). But now Clapton decided to organize a traditional Chicago-style blues trio. Strangely enough, nothing came of this idea, and the dreams of leadership in the group disappeared after the first rehearsal of the group.
So there was one of the best (if not the best) progressive blues-rock bands "Cream". Despite constant creative differences, Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker created great music. On the first album, "Fresh Cream" (1966), they gave us a gorgeous heavy blues,
which immediately adopted a variety of different groups. However, few people know that with their long-term improvisations, "Cream" actually invented hard rock. Already on their next disc, "Disraeli Gears" (1967), psychedelia appeared in the music of "Cream": thus, with each new work their skill level increased,
This allowed the band’s style to be called progressive blues. Despite the fact that "Cream" existed only two and a half years, they managed to release four excellent albums, not inferior to each other. The influence of "Cream" on many other artists is really huge.
At the same time, the magnificent groups "Fleetwood Mac" and "Ten Years After" were formed, they brought the blues closer to hard rock and achieved tremendous commercial success. Their albums and singles invariably hit the charts. Thus, from 1967 to 1969, the formation and flourishing of the main teams of the BBB (British Blues Boom) took place.
The blues fashion has become so all-consuming that many psychedelic-rock compositions initially began to introduce more or less elements of the genre into their music. The most successful representatives can be called "Jimi Hendrix Experience", "Grateful Dead", "Canned Heat", "Doors", "Steppenwolf", "Blue Cheer". Even the Rolling Stones,
which, thanks to the albums of the mid-1960s, seemed to deny blues roots as much as they could, recorded in 1968 their strongest and most blues album, Beggar's Banquet. In the late 60s there were all the prerequisites for the development and success of the genre. Recall and list all the performers of the late 60s, one way or another connected with the blues,
In the mid-1970s, several events occurred at once that determined the development of blues rock in the years ahead. "Ten Years After" broke up. Ensemble "Fleetwood Mac" in 1975, finally switched to the performance of pop rock. And although the chosen direction brought them worldwide success, which they did not see even in the late 60s,
hardly for the blues lover this could be a consolation. Approximately the same problem faced the Climax Blues Band. But in fairness it should be noted that only in the mid-70s CBB achieved worldwide success. In the late 1970s, only two names were still on the ears of the listeners — John Mayall and Rory Gallagher. New Blues Boom,
this time an American, marked a sad event - the tragic death in the helicopter crash of the magnificent blues guitarist Steve Ray Vaughan. The new blues wave captured even musicians, who initially had nothing to do with the genre. John Mayall, Rory Gallagher (until his death in 1995), "Yardbirds" and Peter Green -
they all returned to the stage with amazing concerts and albums at the level of their best creations of the 60s. The eighties-nineties are marked by the return of interest to indigenous bluesmen, such as BB King, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker. Muddy Waters’s collaboration with Johnny Winter brought the first Grammy.
A magnificent album recorded "Canned Heat" with John Lee Hooker. Eric Clapton and BB King have released an excellent album, which also brought them the Grammy Award.