Top Ten Blues Songs


Have you ever noticed that Asians don't seem to know what the blues are? It's just like their conception of jazz. The first few times a student of mine said he or she liked jazz, I was pleasanty surprised, and would ask them who their favorite performer was. Now I know the answer - Kenny G.
Well, blues music is the same. I know what they think it sounds like - something somewhere between the Carpenters and Portuguese fado - and I also know what their reaction is if you actually play some real blues for them. Quotes: "My god, what is that awful music?"
"But you can't dance to that."
(Listening to Muddy Waters)- "That's not the blues."
At a blues cafe in Taipei where they actually were playing the blues. - "I love the blues, but I really wish they'd turn off the terrible noise they're playing here. I thought this was supposed to be a blues bar."
Well, blues lovers, please help me, and list your favorite blues songs here. Thanks.


One Bourbon One Scotch One Beer John Lee Hooker
Soul Man Blues Brothers
Any early Zeppelin
Mary had a Little Lamb By Buddy Guy
Any Stevie Ray Vaughn


Grasshopper is right... a lot of old blues tunes were covered by lots of people... and lots of tunes cannot be traced back to an orignal writer...

I've always liked Love in Vain Blues... and the Stones did a good version of that song too.

  1. Any Leadbelly tune, but "Goodnight Irene" is my fave
  2. "Stop Breaking Down" Robert Johnson
  3. "I'm in the Mood" John Lee Hooker
  4. "Baby Whatchyou Want Me To Do" Jimmy Reed
  5. "The Midnight Special" (traditional)
  6. "Is You Or Isn't You My Baby" Louis Jordan (ummm...does this count as blues or jazz? Whatever...everybody who's heard him loves Louis & his Tympani 5)
  7. "The Thrill is Gone" BB King (remember my Mom grooving to this and my Dad get mock-pissed-off :slight_smile:)
  8. "I Just Wanna Make Love To You" Willie Dixon (sometimes....well you just gotta lay it down the line)
  9. "Back Door Man" Howlin' Wolf
  10. "As the Years Go Passing By" - Albert King (the live version - this sends shivers up my spine, it's so spooky)


"Ball and Chain" - Big Mama Thornton
"The Train Kept A-Rollin'" - Colin James
"London Blues" - Canned Heat
"Whipping Post" - Allman Brothers
"Stray Cat Blues" - The Rolling Stones
"Sitting On Top Of The World" - Cream
"Summertime" - Janis Joplin
"The Stomp" - Ten Years After

And anything by y Mississippi Fred McDowell or Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee!


Get over to the Wall tomorrow night and hear y'selves some live country blues.


I likes these guys, but I have to be in the right mood. I prefer Hooker.

I've been listening to this guy, RL Burnside, (Got Messed Up) very similar to the first two.


The "Happy Birthday" song gets bluer each year I hear it... :cry:


I agree, particularly with Robert Johnson - he can be tough to get into. The first few times I heard his music I couldn't stand him. It took a while for his style to sink in.

Hooker tends to play a simple one or two chord groove over and over which can either be monotonous or hypnotic depending on your mood.


Today? In no particular order, and subject to tomorrow's changes:

Illinois Blues, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Territory
On the Wall, Louise Johnson, The Rough Guide to Delta Blues


This would make it in my top-ten list. And I love this comment:


Some Texas blues here. “If trouble was money, I swear I’d be a millionaire…If worries was dollar bills
I’d buy the whole world and have money to spare.” Now like many blues lines, these ones just make me smile.


Nice! While we’re on the Alberts…


A blues topic without any Son House?


I met a gal, I couldn’t get her off my mind.
She passed me up, said she didn’t like my kind.

(Very pretty picking in this one.)

One of these mornings I’m gonna do just like a squirrel,
Grab a limb and conquer all the world.

Make it lonesome, now, 'cause I’m a hobo myself sometimes.

Well, I need a steam-shovel mama to keep away the dead.
I need a dump-truck mama to unload my head.

(He’s saying Rimbaud. Rambo hasn’t been invented yet. In the original lyrics, he says Bo Diddley.)


Haven’t seen any Furry Lewis up here, but gotta admit I didn’t read too carefully. Watched the vids, though, so here’s my contribution.

Wish I could find a live version of "I Will Turn your Money Green.’ Epic


replying to myself to see if I can figure out how to embed vids here


And here I was all these years thinking they were one and the same. That…explains…a lot.


I couldn’t figure out why yours wouldn’t embed, so I just did an experiment with mine, in which I brought one of the YouTube links up next to the regular text of the post. I don’t know, maybe that’s not the problem, but is your YouTube link next to the text part of the post, the stuff you typed?

The other thing I’ve noticed–and I do this deliberately when I don’t want embedding–is that if you put the mouse cursor/pointer/whatever-it’s-called to the left of the link and hit the space bar, at least in my experience, it doesn’t embed.


That’s some pretty eccentric playing there. I’ve never even seen Jimi do an elbow chord.