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Music Industry

What Is British Blues?

Photograph of the blog post author, Chioma Eguzoraku

Chioma Eguzoraku


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British Blues

British Blues music emerged in the 1960s as a distinct genre that combined traditional American blues with elements of rock and roll. It was heavily influenced by African American blues musicians, and many British Blues artists gained popularity by covering their songs. The genre produced some of the most iconic musicians of the era, including Eric Clapton, John Mayall, and the Rolling Stones.

History Of British Blues

British Blues music has a rich and fascinating history that spans several decades. The genre emerged in the 1960s as a result of the British Invasion, which brought a wave of British rock bands to the United States. These bands were heavily influenced by American blues music, and they began incorporating blues elements into their own sound.

One of the earliest and most influential British Blues bands was the Rolling Stones. The band’s early sound was heavily influenced by blues legends like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Chuck Berry. Their early British blues album, such as “The Rolling Stones” and “12 x 5,” featured covers of classic blues songs alongside original compositions.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the British Blues scene began to evolve and diversify. Bands like Cream, Led Zeppelin, and Free incorporated blues elements into their own unique sound, creating a new subgenre known as blues rock. These bands often featured extended guitar solos and heavy use of distortion, adding a new level of intensity to the blues.

Despite the popularity of blues rock, the traditional British Blues scene continued to thrive. Bands like Fleetwood Mac and Savoy Brown carried on the tradition of playing classic blues songs, while also incorporating their own original material.

The Best British Blues Artists

Here are some of the best British Blues music artists:

1. Eric Clapton – Known as the “Godfather of British Blues,” Clapton has been a major influence on the genre since the 1960s. He played with the Yardbirds, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, and Derek and the Dominos.

2. John Mayall – Mayall is a British Blues pioneer who formed the Bluesbreakers in the early 1960s. He has been credited with discovering and nurturing some of the greatest British Blues musicians, including Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Mick Taylor.

3. Peter Green – Green was the founder of Fleetwood Mac and is considered one of the greatest Blues guitarists of all time. He played with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers before forming Fleetwood Mac.

4. Alexis Korner – Korner was a British Blues pioneer who formed the band Blues Incorporated in the 1960s. He played with many of the greats, including Charlie Watts, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker.

5. Jeff Beck – Beck is a British Blues guitarist who played with the Yardbirds and formed the Jeff Beck Group. He is known for his innovative guitar playing and has been a major influence on many guitarists.

6. Rory Gallagher – Gallagher was an Irish Blues guitarist who had a huge following in the UK. He played with his band Taste before going solo and releasing many successful albums.

7. Mick Taylor – Taylor was a member of the Rolling Stones from 1969 to 1974 and played on some of their most iconic albums, including “Sticky Fingers” and “Exile on Main St.” He got his start playing with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers.

The Genre Today

Today, the influence of British Blues can still be heard in a variety of genres, from rock to pop to hip-hop. Many modern artists, such as The Black Keys and Gary Clark Jr., draw inspiration from the genre’s raw sound and emotional intensity. Others, like Adele and Ed Sheeran, incorporate elements of blues music into their pop songs, creating a unique blend of genres.

One of the reasons why the genre has had such a lasting impact on music is its emphasis on authenticity. The genre was born out of a genuine love for the blues, and its musicians were dedicated to preserving the spirit of the music. This authenticity has resonated with audiences for decades and continues to do so today.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, the history of British Blues music is a rich and diverse one that has had a lasting impact on the world of music, the influence of British Blues can still be heard in modern music, and its impact on the industry cannot be overstated. The genre’s raw sound and emotional intensity continue to inspire musicians today, and its emphasis on authenticity has helped it stand the test of time.


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