Electric Blues

Electric Blues

The blues plugs in.

Cultural Origin

Late 1940s in Chicago

Prominent Artists

John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, Elmore James, Jimmy Dawkins, Albert King, Magic Sam, Magic Slim, Otis Rush, Koko Taylor,  T-Bone Walker, John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson

Influenced By

Blues

Later Influenced

Rock, Soul, R&B, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal

Muddy Waters
Muddy Waters

About The Genre

The blues gets wired. Artists like Sonny Boy Williamson and Johnny Shines began experimenting with amplification of their instruments, most prominently guitar but also harmonica, bass, drums, and keyboard. Electric blues began famous for featured rough vocals, vocal-like responses from the lead guitar or harmonica, and a rhythm section with a strong beat. Different styles emerged in various regions of the country, including Chicago, Detroit, Memphis,  New Orleans, and the West Coast.

Electric blues had a huge impact on British musicians. Early music from groups such as The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds were basically repackaging versions of the music Black artists had been putting out for years. Electric blues heavily influenced soul and rockabilly music and laid the foundations for hard rock and heavy metal.

Trivia/Famous Lyrics

DId you know...

The gypsy woman told my mother
Before I was born
I got a boy child's coming
He's gonna be a son of a gun
He gonna make pretty womens
Jump and shout
Then the world wanna know
What this all about

"Hoochie Coochie Man" by Muddy Waters


And then I sit there, drinkin', gettin' high, mellow, knocked out, feelin' good
About that time I looked on the wall, at the old clock on the wall
About that time it was ten-thirty then, I looked down the bar at the bartender, he said
'What do you want, Johnny?', one bourbon, one scotch, and one beer

"One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" (John Lee Hooker version) by Rudy Toombs

Artists from this genre

B.B. King

B.B. King

The King of the Electric Blues.

Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters

The Hoochie Coochie Man defined Chicago blues.

T-Bone Walker

T-Bone Walker

Pioneer of "jump blues" and a blues guitar legend.

MORE Genres from this era

Rhythm & Blues

Rhythm & Blues

The big bands get smaller and grittier.

BeBop

BeBop

Jazz music moves off the dance floor.

Rock & Roll

Rock & Roll

The biggest musical phenomenon of the 20th-century.

Doo-Wop

Doo-Wop

Rich vocal harmonies combined with teen romance.