When the blues music emerged in the Mississippi Delta, no one would’ve imagined how popular it would become. It soon gained a massive fan following and became synonymous with Chicago. This musical genre is now a historical part of the music culture of the United States. The origins of this music is in the African musical techniques.
They later combined with the American country and folk music. The blues music is a perfect combination of musicality, personal and emotional expression, and the process of improvisation that’s endless. Jazz and rock n’ roll came into existence because of blues. Despite this, blues is still unchanging and timeless. For the fans of blues, we’ve listed three of the top classic songs in this genre here:
1. The Thrill is Gone – B.B. King
B.B. King is a legend both in the world of blues and in the history of music. He is famous as one of the kings of electric blues. King’s flourishing career spanned 5 decades, making him the most celebrated blues artist. He had amazing skills in guitar and a call-and-response vocal style.
In blues music, his signature guitar style and phrasing known as ‘B.B. honk’ is among the most recognizable. The Thrill Is Gone is among the signature songs of B.B. King. This is a rather slow blues song and played in the minor-key. Rick Darnell and Roy Hawkins had originally written and performed this song in 1951.
In the year 1951, it made its way to the 6th position on the Billboard R&B chart. However, it was the version of B.B. King that made it one of blues music history’s biggest hits. King’s rendition of the song was instrumental in taking his career to greater heights.
2. Red House – Jimi Hendrix
With Red House, Hendrix proved that he is a master of guitar having exceptional skills in the instrument. This song is more or less a 13-minute-long track, depending on its rendition by the artist. He wrote the song himself and recorded it in the year 1966 with his band Jimi Hendrix Experience.
The recording took place in Greenwich Village with a call-and-response style of blues. This style originated from the songs that hollers workers sang on their field situated on the American south. In this style, each line of the song repeats twice over a slow 12-bar blues.
Red House is one of the earlier songs that Hendrix recorded with the Jimi Hendrix Experience band. Many of the blues fans also consider it as one of Jimi Hendrix’s most traditional form of song ever. It went on to become a favorite song of many Hendrix fans across the globe.
3. Hoochie Coochie Man – Muddy Waters
This is the song that helped Willie Dixon become the chief songwriter of Chess Records. Hoochie Coochie Man is a classic blues song from Muddy Waters, which came out in 1954. It is a Chicago-style classic electric blues song. The song features Muddy Waters linking Delta blues to stop-time riff and rock and roll. Since then, the stop-time riff has been used in many popular songs.
The phrasing in the song that Waters used became one of the musical phrases most recognizable in blues. The album The Best of Muddy Waters that came out in 1958 included the original recording of this song. It has also been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame.