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Essential Blues

Essential Blues

Ref: CDG1274

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This new collection brings together some of the most famous songs and musicians from the blues tradition. Blues music, from the Deep South of America, is one of our oldest popular musical types and its influence spread into many fields, from jazz to rock ‘n’ roll. BB King, Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker and many others sing of troubles and heartache through a series of wonderful tracks which have a remarkably uplifting feel.

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1 Every Day I Have The Blues BB King
2 CC Rider Chuck Willis
3 I’m A Man Bo Diddley
4 Farther Up The Road Bobby Bland
5 Queen Bee John Lee Hooker
6 Ain’t That Loving You Baby Jimmy Reed
7 Mannish Boy Muddy Waters
8 I Can’t Quit You Baby Otis Rush
9 Are You Out There? Percy Mayfield
10 Keep It To Yourself Sonny Boy Williamson
11 They Call It Stormy Monday T Bone Walker
12 When I’ve Been Drinkin’ Big Bill Broonzy
13 The Things That I Used To Do Guitar Slim
14 Pinetops Boogie-Woogie Pinetop Smith
15 Come On In My Kitchen Robert Johnson
16 I Hear You Knocking Smiley Lewis
17 I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man Muddy Waters
18 Black Snake Blues Blind Lemon Jefferson
19 Boom Boom (Out Goes The Lights) Little Walter
20 Ain’t Got No Home Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry
21 Evil Howlin’ Wolf

Cover image: High Notes ii 1998 Deceus Francks Private Collection/Bridgeman Art Library
P & C 2013 Classical Communications Ltd
Made in Great Britain

As with so many styles in popular music, the origins of blues lie in the
United States of America. Blues music came from the Deep South, where
it grew out of typical African-American musical styles. In blues we can hear
spirituals, other religious music and the songs of the fields and plantations.
It began in the late 19th century and so it predates such obviously longlived
styles as jazz and its many derivations. Nearly all the songs feature
the tragic or sad message of love lost or tremendous hardship, which can
be physical as well as emotional. The music, though, does not always bear
this out, and it can sound relaxing and inviting despite the often haunting
sound of the singer. Blues also has specific musical conventions, like so many
other musical types, in particular, the twelve bar chord progression and the
flat minor third of a typical minor chord. The twelve bar progression in
particular was taken over and used by jazz musicians the world over.
This collection presents many famous blues musicians and some iconic
tracks, while, we hope, producing an album that is pleasant and enjoyable
to listen to. Many famous stars are here, and we hope that our selection is
Essential Blues
representative of the wide range of musicians who practice the blues style.
BB King was a real blues superstar. Often known as ‘The King of the Blues’,
King’s guitar playing approaches that of genius. He gave nearly one concert
per day for most of his life, playing in front of an audience between 250 and
300 times a year. Chuck Willis was primarily famous as a singer/songwriter,
while Bo Diddley sang and played and wrote the music too.
There are many more fine musicians to be heard here and the album
presents a roll call of some of the greatest names in blues music. The music
itself is wonderful and in it we can hear so many important styles emerging
as the album progresses. Apart from the distinctive voices, the instrumental
playing is never less than remarkable and it is clear to hear how it influenced
not only jazz but other genres too. The last two tracks are a case in point.
‘Ain’t Got No Home’ may be one of the clearest incidences of rock and
roll style on the album and its infectious rhythms lift the mood. The final
track, ‘Evil’ is one of the least gentle on the album and it reminds us of the
tortuous emotions expressed in so much blues music.

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