The Birth of ‘British’ Blues


John Mayall is often talked about as ‘Father of British Blues’ as he had the ability of discovering new blues talent and nurturing them within his band, the Bluesbreakers.

John+Mayall++The+Bluesbreakers+bluesbreakers

If John Mayall is the father then Alexis Korner must be the grandfather. His love of blues as a player, band leader and broadcaster made an immense impact on the quality and range of players in the UK.

 

**

korner

From Wikipeadia -Alexis Korner (19 April 1928 — 1 January 1984) was a 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.

One memory of his youth was listening to a record by  pianist Jimmy Yancey during a German air raid. Korner said, “From then on all I wanted to do was play the blues.

*

jimmyyancey

**

**

In 1961, Korner and Davies formed Blues Incorporated, initially a loose-knit group of musicians with a shared love of electric blues and R&B music.

 

bluesincorpor

**

Alexis Korner and Cyril Davis –

*

 

Not only did these musicians introduce the British public to down home Chicago Blues they often ‘lived ‘ with them, as with the help of people like Chris Barber, many of the stalwarts such as Muddy Waters, Champion Jack Dupree were brought over from the US , often staying in their homes while working their way round Europe in the late 50’s.

*

Want to know more about Alexis -try this BBC dcumentary – excellent

 

**

CyrilDavies1

**

 

Stormy Monday

Not great quality recording -but a good vid of Cyril Davis, Long John Baldry and the Velvelettes

 

**

cyrilallstars

and another blast from the past with Alexis, Chris Farlowe, Zoot Money,Eric Clapton and Dick Heckstall – Smith

*

**

Blues Incorporated included, at various times, such influential musicians as Charlie Watts, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Long John Baldry, Graham Bond, Danny Thompson and Dick Heckstall-Smith. It also attracted a wider crowd of mostly younger fans, some of whom occasionally performed with the group, including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Geoff Bradford, Rod Stewart, John Mayall and Jimmy Page.

 

Out of ‘Blues Incorporated’ came bands such as the Rolling Stones, Cream, the Animals, Free and Led Zeppelin.

**

Cyril handbill Marquee_sm

When Cyril Davies left Alexis’ band he formed the Cyril Davies All Stars and the band was made up of members of Screaming Lord Sutch’s group, the Savages, including Nicky Hopkins on piano, Carlo Little on drums and Rick Brown aka Ricky Fenson on bass. The band also featured Jimmy Page on guitar for a brief period, though he soon backed out to focus on his burgeoning career as a session musician and was replaced by Bernie Watson, another former member of the Savages.

*

Country Line Special

**

 

*

davy5

Although not directly linked to this grouping of blues players, Davy Graham certainly had an influence on guitar players – even introducing the tuning DADGAD to acoustic guitarists. His album Folk,Blues and Beyond reminded us of his Middle Eastern interest, much like Alexis Korner. It was this broad minded openness to music of all spheres which  helped to break down some of the musical barriers that separated listeners.

*

 

City and Suburban Blues

***

*

If you like radio – BBC radio 6 has broadcast three programmes on Alexis Korner – Juvenile delinquent (episode 1) The Ealing Club (episode 2) Rhythm and Blues champion (episode 3) find them on BBC iplayer radio.

*

**

Check out the version of the Blind Willie Johnson song -“I cannot  keep from crying sometimes” from  ‘Folk Blues and Beyond’

**

 

zap_tenyears

 

Recorded also by Al Kooper and another British Blues Band -Ten Years After

**

*

 

Let’s check out those blues numbers from those influenced by the early leaders such as Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies:

mick-jagger-and-muddy-waters

 

such as Mick Jagger’s Rolling Stones -Mannish Boy with Muddy Waters

**

*

and a classic blues by the Stones -Little Red Rooster (Willie Dixon)

redrooster

*

 

**
*

cream ian dickson

 

Cream was made up of two old Blues Incorporated players -Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker -here they are playing  a Robert Johnson blues -Crossroads Blues (with Eric Clapton, of course).

*

**

Perhaps it is time to slip back to another ‘Father of British Blues’ – John Mayall

 

*

mayall albert king

Bobleafe.com

*

Stormy Monday -with Albert King battling it out with Bluesbreaker Mick Taylor

 

More to come on this theme…..

Advertisements

~ by Ray Harris on July 11, 2013.

2 Responses to “The Birth of ‘British’ Blues”

  1. […] * Photography & Music blog – post on British Blues.   […]

  2. […] Having touched upon the stars of the 50′s and early 60′s who were mainly playing ‘electric’ blues ,as their mentors in Chicago were doing, I would like to take you back to remember some stars of British Blues who were mainly playing acoustically. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: