Joe Bonamassa and Black Crowes: 30 Vital Titles
Delaney & Bonnie and Friends D&B Together “These guys had such attention to detail and a complete understanding of blues and R&B in all of its subtleties. They ran it through their filtration system, and the by-product was this authentic, heartfelt, honest music. Then to have Clapton come in [Clapton was one the extended group’s many members]… What else do you want?”
The Allman Brothers Band The Allman Brothers Band “Growing up in Atlanta, the Allmans were present in your life whether you were into them or not. It didn’t strike me how heavy and amazing they were until I started writing my own songs. That’s when I started to realize how they took blues somewhere different, with jazz influences, by having two drummers and by how Duane Allman and Dickey Betts played together. I underestimated all of those things at the time, but now I find it’s just beautiful, profound and moving.”
Terry Reid River “He was asked to be Zeppelin’s singer and turned them down. He could sing his ass off and had such an interesting approach to music. The first few songs on this record are really cool rock songs, and then he gets into a jazz thing. I appreciate that, because bridging those styles well is very hard to pull off.”
Little Feat Little Feat “They were just a phenomenal band that covered so much ground. I could have picked any of their first several albums for this list. They wrote great songs, and Lowell George was such an expressive singer and guitarist. They were like a more southern version of the Band.”
The Grease Band The Grease Band “They evolved out of Joe Cocker’s backup band in the Sixties. The interaction between the guitars and between the bass and drums is just great. Everything about them—the singer’s voice, the tones, the looseness—just works for me.”
Taj Mahal Happy Just to be Like I Am “I fell in love with Taj’s voice and sound the first time I heard him. Then I got this record and found it to be a really cool bridge between blues and rock. Taj was like a stepping-stone in that way: he had traditional blues roots and a rock and roll band approach, and with them he created something really amazing.”
Ry Cooder Boomer's Story “This is one of my favorite albums in any genre, and Ry is one of my alltime favorite guitar players. If you hear one note of him in any setting, it’s unmistakable that it’s him. He’s just like Jimmy Page in that respect. You can’t fake it or replicate it. It’s in the tone and the way he holds the notes. The frequencies really speak to me. And Luther [Dickinson, Black Crowes guitarist]’s dad produced it.”
Patto Patto “It’s sort of nutty. The songcraft and vocals are okay, but it’s all about the guitar. There’s something about the sound and the approach that are just so different that it really grabbed me the first time I heard it. They twisted the genre into something different, and I really admire that.”
The Rolling Stones Beggar's Banquet “It’s phenomenal to me that they could have such a broad spectrum and explore so many styles of blues on just this one record. And the sound is just incredible. A lot of English bands tended to refine and refine, but the Stones always kept their raw sound."
Johnny Winter The Progressive Blues Experiment "I never really listened to Johnny Winter because Chris [Robinson, Black Crowes singer] and I came from more of a punk rock, ‘paisley underground’ approach. Then, in about 1991, we bought all these cool bootlegs of TV performances. In one of them, Johnny Winter came on playing ‘Mean Town Blues,’ and I was stunned. So I went out and bought this record, which is just filled with incredible guitar playing that really moves me.”
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