Top Ten Blues Songs


Thought I’d take things electric with a little Bland. Love his voice.

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Best comment: When he hits that “WEEEEEELLLL…” in the beginning it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck…and I’m bald

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Phantom hair syndrome…cool!

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Would this qualify as blues? Well, I think you would need to have the blues to sing like this. In Korea, the concept of “han” (sense of tragedy?) is big. Etta’s also got a ton of han.

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I come back to this song every now and then. I’m not sure what the draw is. The blues is great, for sure. But I think it’s much more than that.

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Great choices by folks!!!

Been away from Forumosa for a few years, but if looks like my wife and I will finally arrive in Taiwan the end of July. I will be retiring (leaning towards locating in Sanxia right now), and looking to pick up some gigs or at least Open Mic.

These songs are definitely not the best 10 Blues songs I have ever heard, but they are songs I regularly include live:

  • Darlin’ You Know I Love You (BB King)
  • Red House (Hendrix)
  • Stormy Monday (T-Bone Walker)
  • I’ll Take Care of You (Bobby Bland / first heard Junior Wells)
  • Don’t Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down (Eric Bibb)
  • Goin’ Down Slow (Willie Dixon / Howlin’ Wolf)
  • Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out (Bessie Smith)
  • I Believe to my Soul (Ray Charles - borderline R&B)
  • Bell Bottom Blues (Derek and Dominoes)
  • St James Infirmary (historical)
  • I Put a Spell on You (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins)
  • I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know (Al Kooper)

Began incorporating a lot of R&B about 10 years ago (not mentioned above) - but it is hard to shake 45 years of Blues. Oh, and I always do a couple of originals.

Note I was actually fortunate enough to have seen Lightnin’ Hopkins twice in 1978. Now THAT was an unforgettable experience!!!


I’m sure you’ll want to check out Bobwundaye a bit


Thanks for the suggestion!!!


I can’t possibly narrow it down to a top-10, but I’m surprised that among all of the great lists here, nobody has mentioned my favourite blues artist of all time, Emore James:

Also, I can really relate to the OP. I mostly listen to blues, jazz, rock & roll, country, ragtime, etc., and it depresses me to no end that I’m yet to meet a single Taiwanese person who can tolerate music like that, let alone who actually enjoys it. Jazz music seems to be fashionable among some in Taiwan, but not the kind of jazz I usually listen to. To make matters worse, up the road in Japan, I have met people who legitimately appreciate music like this. It leads me to believe I’ve devoted years trying to learn the wrong language and penetrate the wrong culture!


In a billion years time, when an alien civilisation finds NASA’s Voyager 1 probe drifting through the ether. This is one of the songs they will hear when they play Voyager’s ‘Golden Record’.

“Dark was the night, cold was the ground” by Blind Willie Johnson.


Don’t know if this is one of my favorite tunes, but the line is one of the best in blues: “Nobody loves me but my mother. And she could be jivin’ too.” The solo is a damn good one.


Dang. So intense. So satisfying.


Freddie King on the guitar.

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Only the good stuff. That’s my motto for 2019.


I’ve said that playing the blues is like having to be black twice. Stevie Ray Vaughan missed on both counts, but I never noticed.
B. B. King