Thursday, April 2, 2020

Seclusion - Day 14 - The Blues

For me, blues is live music; the stuff of Beale Street and smoky concert venues. Like most of us, though, the blues at home is summed up with Zeppelin, or maybe, more jovially, ZZ Top.
When we look toward the deeper vinyl tracks, like jazz, the blues is often far less accessible. So, what are those blues LPs/tracks that get overlooked but ought to grace your turntable? Here are a few to get you started:
Robyn Trower, Twice Removed From Yesterday. When Trower left Procol Harum in 1971, one wouldn’t have expected that his debut solo would capture the blues in such a definitive way. This was the band most famous for "Whiter Shade of Pale;" not particularly bluesy. Each track here is keystone blues with several standouts like "
Daydream" and "I Can’t Stand It." And essential blues has a highwater mark with Trower's rendition of B.B. King’s "Rock Me, Baby."
Certainly a powerhouse LP, but far from being a household name is Cream’s Disraeli Gears. You know the songs, and accessible as "Sunshine of Your Love" may be, this is where blues turned psychedelic and then turned heavy metal.
An album cover that terrified me as much as King Crimson’s In the Court of the Crimson King, was Boogie With the Canned Heat. It’s pure rock blues, but the emphasis is on the vocals, instead, with the incomparable "On the Road Again." Their next LP would have a blues favorite, Goin’ Up the Country” – that’s hippie blues right there.
Finally, one can't say blues without saying Stevie Ray Vaughn. Just go pick one. Check out "Texas Flood," you’ll be making those silly facial expressions and contorting your body all bluesy just because you can’t help it.

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