Category Archives: guitarists

blues-guitarists-Keb Mo

Keb Mo with Nick Forster and James Taylor

Keb Mo with Nick Forster and James Taylor

Keb Mo (Kevin Moore) is an American contemporary blues musician. He was born in October of 1951 in Los Angeles California.

Keb was greatly influenced by the blues legend Robert Johnson, and has taken the blues into a new direction. He merges the early Delta Blues with a sophistication that adds a freshness to a traditional style.

In 1994 he released his first album titled, Keb Mo which featured two of Robert Johnsons songs; “Come on in my Kitchen” which Keb took  into a new direction, and “Kind Hearted Woman Blues” which stayed more to the original. In 1996 he released Just like You which won a grammy for best contemporary blues recording. He followed that with another grammy winner in the album Slow Down.

Keb has two instructional videos out, has been in several films, and is politically active. He performs at festivals and concerts around the world.

Some of Kebs most requested songs are; “Dangerous Mood”, “Dirty Lowdown and Bad”, “Am I Wrong”,  the gospel shout “Hand it Over”, Shave Yo Legs, and “Henry”.

Discography
Released Album Notes
1980 Rainmaker Released under the name “Kevin Moore”
June 7, 1994 Keb’ Mo’ Debut album as “Keb’ Mo'”
June 18, 1996 Just Like You Won Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album, 1997
August 25, 1998 Slow Down Won Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album, 1999
October 10, 2000 The Door
December 4, 2000 Sessions at West 54th: Recorded Live in New York Recorded in 1997
June 5, 2001 Big Wide Grin Children’s album
September 19, 2003 Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: Keb’ Mo’ Part of the series The Blues
February 10, 2004 Keep It Simple Won Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album, 2005
September 21, 2004 Peace… back by popular demand
June 13, 2006 Suitcase
October 20, 2009 Live and Mo’ Six live performances and 4 new studio recordings

blues-guitarist-Tab Benoit

Born in Baton Rouge Louisiana, blues guitarist Tab Benoit plays a style of blues that can only be described as a mixture of swamp blues, soul blues and Chicago blues on his signature Fender Telecaster. The Telecaster is not usually known as a common choice for blues guitar players.

Benoit began playing the guitar in his teenage years while hanging out at a club called the Blues Box where he met many influential players of the day. In 1987 he formed a blues trio with his friends and began playing in local clubs around Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Soon after he started touring through other parts of the southern United States and two years after that gave an entire tour of the United States. Tab Benoit is known as a huge fan of the New Orleans Saints and was also featured in the IMAX film Hurricane on the Bayou.

Despite comparisons to such guitarists as Albert King and Jimi Hendrix, Benoit has tried to stay close to his Cajun roots despite the prodding of some of his producers to head in a more rock influenced direction.

Over the past 20 years, this blues guitarist has released many different albums including Wetlands and Whiskey Store. Tab Benoit continues to tour and entertain audiences across the US and Canada.

Top 5 Songs

Night Train
Bayou Boogie
When a Cajun Man Gets the Blues
New Orleans Ladies
Nice and Warm

Top 3 Albums

Whiskey Store
Wetlands
These Blues Are All Mine

Discography

Night Train To Nashville (2008)
Fever For The Bayou (2005)
Whiskey Store (2002)
Brother To The Blues (2006)
Sea Saint Sessions (2003)
Power Of The Pontchartrain (2007)
Whiskey Store Live (2004)
These Blues Are All Mine (1999)
Wetlands (2002)

blues-guitarist-Joe Bonamassa

As one of the younger generation of blues guitarists, Joe Bonamassa is proving a blue tag is alive and well today. Born in Utica New York Joe received his first guitar from his father at the age of seven. By the age of 11 he had been playing solos by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix note for note and was accepted to study for a short time with Danny Gatton. At the age of 12 Joe was offered the opportunity to open for blues legend B.B. King. After which King said “This kid’s potential is unbelievable! He hasn’t even begun to scratch the surface. He’s one of a kind”. He has since attended many events and different blues festivals and is well known in the blues guitar circle.

Unlike many other successful blues rock guitar players, Joe has cited his interests to be more in the British and Irish blues vein. Some of his idols are Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. He also cites the album Texas Flood by Stevie Ray Vaughan to be a major influence on his playing.

Releasing his solo debut in 2000 entitled A New Day Yesterday to critical acclaim, this blues guitarist has since gone on to release a number of different full-length studio albums and tours constantly.

Expect to see big things from Joe.

Top 5 Songs

Burning Hell
Walking Blues
Woke Up Dreaming
Mumbling Word
I Don’t Live Anywhere

Top 3 Albums

Black Rock
Sloe Gin
Blues Deluxe

Discography

A New Day Yesterday (2000)
So, It’s Like That (2002)
A New Day Yesterday, Live (2002)
Blues Deluxe (2003)
Had to Cry Today (2004)
You & Me (2006)
Sloe Gin (2007)
Live From Nowhere in Particular (2008)
The Ballad of John Henry (2009)
Black Rock (2010)

blues-guitarist-Michael Burks

Born in Milwaukee in 1957, blues guitarist Michael Burks entered the world with the blues already in his blood. His grandfather played acoustic Delta blues back in Arkansas and his father Frederick was a great bass player.

Michael’s first introduction to the guitar came when he was two years old. He showed such interest that his father immediately began to teach him how to play. At first, since his hands were so small, he started to emulate the bass runs that his father played and was soon learning more complicated scales and songs.

When he grew up he worked for over a decade as a mechanical technician for airplane manufacturer Lockheed Martin even building missile components for a time. Although not a full-time musician, his gritty style earned him invitations to various blues festivals in both California and Florida.

He released his first album in 1997 which was a self produced effort entitled From The Inside Out. This album took the blues world by storm and was heralded as a great new release. He then went on to join the band Alligator Family and release the critically acclaimed album Make It Rain.

With this blues guitarist’s considerable skill and raw emotion coming through, Michael proves that electric blues is still alive and well.

Top 5 Songs

Fire And Water
Got a Way With Women
Strange Feeling
Empty Promises
Love Disease

Top 3 Albums

Iron Man
Make It Rain
From the Inside Out

Discography

Iron Man (Alligator Records, 2008)
I Smell Smoke (Alligator Records, 2003)
Make It Rain (Alligator Records, 2001)
From the Inside Out (Independent, 1999)

blues-guitarist-J. J. Cale

Blues guitarist J.J. Cale was one of the originators of the Tulsa sound. The Tulsa sound can be described as a loose genre drawing on blues, rockabilly, country and various other styles. Cale’s personal playing style is often described as laid-back and chill. He was born John Weldon Cale on December 5 in 1938. He is a Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter and musician.

Despite his reputation he only had one hit single in the United States. The single Crazy Mama made it all the way to 22 on the US Billboard hot 100 during the year 1972. In the 2006 documentary made about him Cale recounts the story of the time offer to appear on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand to promote his hit tune. He declined the offer because he was told that he would have to lip sync and his band would not be allowed to join him.

This blues guitarist is cited as an influence by many musicians and his songs have been covered by artists such as Eric Clapton, Kansas, and Lynrd Skynrd.

Top 5 Songs

Cocaine
After Midnight
Magnolia
Cajun Moon
Crazy Mama

Top 3 Albums

Naturally
Shades
Roll On

Discography

Singles
1958 Shock Hop/Sneaky
1960 Troubles, Troubles/Purple Onion
1961 Ain’t That Lovin You Baby/She’s My Desire
1971 Crazy Mama

Albums
1966 A Trip Down The Sunset Strip (with the Leathercoated Minds)
1971 Naturally
1972 Really
1974 Okie
1976 Troubadour
1979 5
1981 Shades
1982 Grasshopper
1983 #8
1984 Special Edition (a compilation of hits from previous albums)
1990 Travel Log
1992 Number 10
1994 Closer to You
1996 Guitar Man
1997 Anyway the Wind Blows
1998 The Very Best of J.J. Cale
2000 Universal Masters Collection
2001 Live
2004 To Tulsa and Back
2006 Collected (Dutch release only)
2006 The Road to Escondido (with Eric Clapton)
2007 Rewind: The Unreleased Recordings
2009 Roll On