Blues Week on MusicRadar

27th Jul 2010 | 13:50

Blues Week on MusicRadar
Welcome to Blues Week
Got the blues? Welcome to your spiritual home…

To commemorate August's 20th anniversary of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s tragic death, we’re devoting an entire week to the legendary guitarist’s genre of choice: the blues.

From our exclusive review of the new Legacy Edition of SRV's Couldn't Stand The Weather to expert MusicRadar gear guides to our definitive list of the greatest blues guitarists ever, we’re celebrating the guitars, the technique, the men, the women and the heroes old and new that made - and make - the blues so inspirational.

You'll find links to all our Blues Week content on this handy hub - keep it bookmarked as we'll be updating it as we go through the week. Some real treats to come!

Come join us at the crossroads…

Blues Week on MusicRadar
The 25 best blues guitarists of all time
The results are in! Who's the greatest of them all?

From Delta trailblazers to electric masters, this is a countdown of the 25 best blues guitarists of all time as chosen by you. So sit back, grab your diddley bow and prepare to be humbled. Kicking off - somewhat justly - in the deep south…

Read: The 25 best blues guitarists of all time

Blues Week on MusicRadar
10 best amps for blues
Tweed and Blackface Fenders, Brit combos and boutique classics

You don’t need an amplifier to be a bluesman. Hell, you don’t even need a guitar. But if your tastes require something with a little more volume and sting than a parlour acoustic or resonator can deliver, whether your weapon of choice is a pawnshop prize, diddley bow or ’62 Stratocaster, you’re gonna need an amplifier...

Read: 10 best amps for blues

Blues Week on MusicRadar
The 25 best female blues artists ever
It's not just bluesmen who should be on your stereo

Blues Week continues as we present our guide to the best female blues artists ever, starting off with the original Queen of the Blues - Mamie Smith

Read: The 25 best female blues artists ever

Blues Week on MusicRadar
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Couldn't Stand The Weather review
The exclusive review

20 years on from his tragic death, Stevie Ray Vaughan's blues masterpiece gets a well-deserved reissue. Guitarist magazine's Owen Bailey gives you the definitive track-by-track walkthrough, complete with audio clips and lessons on how to learn that lick.

Read: Stevie Ray Vaughan - Couldn't Stand The Weather track-by-track review

Blues Week on MusicRadar
Double Trouble's Chris Layton, Tommy Shannon on Stevie Ray Vaughan
Duo recalls Couldn't Stand The Weather sessions for Blues Week

Blues Week rolls on at MusicRadar as we bring you an in-depth discussion with two of the people who knew the late Stevie Ray Vaughan better than anybody - his blues brothers Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon, the rhythm section that was Double Trouble.

Read: Double Trouble's Chris Layton, Tommy Shannon on Stevie Ray Vaughan

Blues Week on MusicRadar
Jimmie Vaughan remembers Stevie Ray Vaughan
Exclusive interview with the blues legend on his new album and SRV

In the following interview, Jimmie Vaughan talks about his new album, how he's just as excited to play the guitar as ever, recalls his surreal encounter with Jimi Hendrix and speaks movingly about his beloved brother, Stevie Ray.

Read: Jimmie Vaughan remembers Stevie Ray Vaughan

Blues Week on MusicRadar
Interview: Robert Cray
Blues hero talks gear, vibrato, heroes and SRV

Blues Week has cast a mighty long shadow at MusicRadar. In addition to all of our amazing content covering gear, lists of the greatest players ever (as voted for by you!) and exclusive interviews, we now sit down with the one and only Robert Cray, whom Joe Bonamassa lists as one of his favourite blues guitarists.

Read: Robert Cray on playing "blues for life"

Blues Week on MusicRadar
How to play blues guitar like…
Learn to play like the greats in this video lesson series

In this series of free video and audio lessons, MusicRadar shows you how to play blues guitar in the style of the greats!

From BB King to Eric Clapton, SRV to Jimi Hendrix, it's the perfect introduction to playing the blues.

Read: How to play blues guitar like…

Blues Week on MusicRadar
Slash: my favourite blues guitarists of all time
Guitar hero names his influences for Blues Week

Recently, MusicRadar sat down with the chapeaued guitar hero to discuss his upcoming Epiphone 'Appetite For Destruction' Les Paul (due to hit fine retailers near you in October).

During our chat (coming to the site very soon!), we asked Slash about some of his early influences - specifically, the blues...

Read: Slash: my favourite blues guitarists of all time

Blues Week on MusicRadar
Warren Haynes' 10 greatest blues albums of all time
Allman Bros./Gov't Mule star names his faves

While touring the world with The Allman Brothers Band, The Dead and, of course, leading his own outfit, Gov't Mule, it's a wonder that Warren Haynes has any time at all to listen to music that he isn't making himself.

And yet, the guitarist who has traded licks with everyone from Eric Clapton to Billy Gibbons, and who was not only ranked 23rd on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time but was also voted by MusicRadar readers as one of the 17 Unsung Les Paul Legends, has a record collection (not to mention an iPod) that goes deep. Deep blues, that is…

Read: Warren Haynes' 10 greatest blues albums of all time

Blues Week on MusicRadar
Joe Bonamassa: My 11 favourite blues guitarists
The Black Rock star on his heroes

With the recent release of the stunning blues rock album Black Rock, Joe Bonamassa's fame is poised to go from big-time cult status to the land of mainstream superstars.

In our exclusive interview, Bonamassa discusses his 11 biggest blues influences and cites their most important recordings. "These are the guys who schooled me," he says. "Whatever I am now and wherever I'm going, it's all because of what came first. These are the players who taught me everything I know."

Read: Joe Bonamassa: My 11 favourite blues guitarists

Blues Week on MusicRadar
BB King: the exclusive interview
Guitarist magazine chat to the blues legend

It's been three years since BB King last sat hunched over his beloved Gibson Lucille on UK stages, when he was supposedly performing his 'Farewell Tour'.

A return was inevitable. According to BB, "I decided that I would come over because I miss coming to Europe, I'm feeling well and I wanted to come back and see you guys one more time."

All the better for us.T ime for an audience with the man himself…

Read: BB King: the exclusive interview

Blues Week on MusicRadar
A-Z of the blues
Make sure you click on 'X'…

From the Mississippi Delta to the British blues boom and beyond, our latest A-Z takes in every possible artist, guitar, style and iteration of the blues.

We start our A-Z with All Your Love, the 1966 classic from John Mayall's Blues Breakers featuring a certain young guitarist by the name of Eric Clapton.

"Wrapped around the business end of a Gibson Les Paul Standard, Eric pushed his Marshall 1962 30-watt 2 x 12 combo into a blistering overdrive that has driven tone fiends crazy ever since…"

Read: A-Z of the blues

Blues Week on MusicRadar
Walter Trout on the 12-bar blues
Blues-rock expert Walter Trout shows you his take on the 12-bar blues

Walter Trout is an experienced bluesman who has played with many famous names, including John Lee Hooker and John Mayall. He spends his time now touring with his band, Walter Trout and the Radicals.

We started by asking Walter to demonstrate a 12-bar pattern, and he obliged with a slow blues in E. While the chords are in simple open positions, there are other challenges that are might prove a bit of a handful, especially if you are new to the guitar. Good luck!

Read: Walter Trout on the 12-bar blues (video lesson and free tab)

Blues Week on MusicRadar
Albert Lee on 12-bar blues variations
See how Albert Lee approaches the 12-bar blues

In this video lesson country blues legend Albert Lee shows you how he approaches the standard 12-bar blues, this involves some cool variations to the standard patterns many guitarists use.

Read: Albert Lee on 12-bar blues variations (video lesson and free tab)

Blues Week on MusicRadar
Gary Moore talks blues-rock
A video interview on phrasing, rock, blues and guitars

In this clip of a video interview our sister magazine Guitarist filmed in 2004, Neville Marten talks to British blues legend Gary Moore.

Filmed to coincide with the release of his 2004 album Power Of The Blues, Moore talks about the influences behind the record's harder-rocking sound, his approach to phrasing, and how different guitars influence his playing.

Watch: Gary Moore talks blues-rock

Blues Week on MusicRadar
How to play fingerstyle blues guitar
Free tab and audio lessons on self-accompaniment

In this five-part series of tab and audio lessons, Guitar Technique's Stuart Ryan takes you through a gigantic acoustic method for playing fingerstyle blues.

Part one: Self-accompaniment in DADGAD tuning

Part two: Self-accompaniment in standard tuning

Part three: Accompaniment and embellishing a blues

Part four: Jazz-blues

Part five: Modern 'fiery' acoustic blues style

Blues Week on MusicRadar
Kenny Wayne Shepherd's 5 rules for playing the blues
The modern master shares his secrets

During a recent interview session, Shepherd took some time to share with MusicRadar his five rules for playing the blues.

"They're not iron-clad," Shepherd says, "but I do believe if you heed some of these tips, you'll find your playing improves. And more importantly, your overall love of music will expand."

Read: Kenny Wayne Shepherd's 5 rules for playing the blues

Blues Week on MusicRadar
Keeping The Blues Alive
From The Black Keys to Imelda May, 25 new artists keeping the blues alive

As Blues Week draws to a close, we look beyond the greats and to the new wave of artists keeping the blues alive. From indie rockers to traditional pickers, mainstream chart toppers to roadhouse brawlers, we look the style, gear and tunes that will keep the blues flame alive.

Read: Keeping The Blues Alive

Blues Week on MusicRadar
The life and times of Howlin' Wolf
100 years since the birth of a blues legend

10 June 2010 would have been Howlin' Wolf's 100th birthday. Although he passed away in 1976, it's impossible to overstate the importance of one of the most influential figures, not only in the evolution of the blues, but in 20th Century popular music as a whole.

Come with us as we celebrate the anniversary of a true music legend.

Read: The life and times of Howlin' Wolf

Blues Week on MusicRadar
Joe Bonamassa talks blues power
The MusicRadar podcast interview

Joe Bonamassa must have lived a hardscrabble existence on the south side of Chicago in a past life. How else to explain the brilliance of this young blues-master who started playing at age seven and was sharing stages with the likes of BB King and Danny Gatton by the time he was 12?

"Since I can remember, my life was always about the blues," says Bonamassa, a guy so friendly and likable that it's hard to imagine him ever having a down day. "Other kids were into what they were into. Me? I was all about the guitar and learning how to be a bluesman. I found my passion early and never looked back…"

Listen: Joe Bonamassa talks blues power

Blues Week on MusicRadar
The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach talks blues power
"Music that's real can save your soul"

"I fell in love with the blues as a kid, and that was it - the die was cast," says Dan Auerbach, guitarist and vocalist for the acclaimed Akron, Ohio duo The Black Keys.

In this exclusive MusicRadar podcast, Dan Auerbach talks about solo album Keep It Hid. The iconoclastic musician also discusses his abiding passion for the blues, plans for the new Black Keys album and an impending collaboration with Rick Rubin and ZZ Top.

Listen: The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach talks blues power

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