Alexis Koerner was a British blues musician and radio broadcaster, who has sometimes been referred to as "a founding father of British blues". A major influence on the sound of the British music scene in the 1960s, Korner was instrumental in bringing together various English blues musicians. Without Alexis Korner, there still might have been a British blues scene in the early 1960s, but chances are that it would have been very different from the one that spawned the Rolling Stones, nurtured the early talents of Eric Clapton, and made it possible for figures such as John Mayall to reach an audience.
John Lee Hooker developed a “talking blues” style that became his trademark. Though similar to the early Delta tradition, his metrically free approach and unique sound would make him a staple of the Detroit blues tradition. Often called the “King of the Boogie,” Hooker's driving, rhythmic approach to guitar playing has become an integral part of the blues. His thunderous electric guitar sounded raw, while his basic technique was riveting.
The Blues Masters series, much to Rhino`s credit, adopts an expansive definition of blues, allowing the likes of Count Basie, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Muddy Waters and even Louis Prima admission. There is none of the purist`s quibbling over strict 12-bar form or the relative significance of prewar and postwar styles.
What Rhino delivers instead is the blues in all its myriad guises. This music is old and new, black and white, acoustic and electric, folksy and jazzy, performed by women and men, and yet it is all still blues at its core.
Silk Road Blues represents the first fusion of Afghan music and jazz. The project is built around the combination of piano and the 18-stringed Afghan rebab, both played by Larry Porter, in different settings which include bass, drums, tabla, and sax.
By its nature, boogie-woogie doesn’t change, so why should Jools Holland – its leading advocate in the new millennium; hell, its leading advocate in the post-punk world – switch things up for Rockinghorse, his 2010 album with his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra? The sound remains the same, and so do many of the songs – the standards “Got My Mojo Working,” “This Train,” “Tain’t Nobody’s Bizness If I Do,” “What a Wonderful World,” and “You Are so Beautiful” are all hauled out – and guests as far-ranging as Allen Toussaint and Alison Moyet, Chas & Dave and Michael McDonald.