The blues is at the heart of American music and has a rich tradition. Wheather it's rock and roll, Jazz or R&B, blues is the foundation and the heart of many genres of music. However, popular music continues to stray away and you just don't hear authentic blues on pop radio. Fortunately, there are many great blues musicians keeping the train rolling. Check out list for the top five best blues artists of 2017.
Tedeschi Trucks Band
This Grammy-award winning ensemble has been crushing the music scene for several years now and I can’t get enough. This band also happens to employ my favorite celebrity couple of Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, who are both at the top of their game and don’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Duane Allman, Elmore James, John Lee Hooker, Miles Davis, B.B. King, Bonnie Rait, Janis Joplin, Buddy Guy, this group has a firm grasp on what blues and blues rock should sound like. Between Susan’s incredible vocal talent and Derek’s other-worldly slide guitar abilities, they essentially have two of the best soloists in the business. Check out their newest album, “Live from the Fox Oakland” available now.
Joe is probably the most successful modern blues guitarist in the last few decades. The former child prodigy has evolved into one of the true guitar heroes of the blues scene. His scintillating guitar solos make you wonder how his fretboard hasn’t burst into flames yet. One of the few fast-hand players that can artfully blend speed and soul into their playing on a consistent basis. Joe’s quest for world domination includes sell-out shows at world famous venues across the world. If you haven’t seen him in person, I highly recommend it. You will not be disappointed.
Marcus King Band
Speaking of child prodigies, Marcus King may still be considered one. At the ripe young age of 20, The Marcus King Band is climbing up the leaderboards at an alarming rate. Warren Haynes has taken him under his wing and helped him produce, as well as play guitar on, his newest self-titled LP, which is now out on Fantasy Records. They are hitting the road to back up its release and their dates include stops at Jam Cruise, Panic En La Playa before jumping over the pond to France for another 12 dates. Keep a close eye on these guys and be sure to catch them when they stop by your town.
One of the greatest guitar players in rock history, Haynes divides his talent between Gov’t Mule, The Allman Brothers Band and the new Warren Haynes Band. Haynes combines an addicting blend of mountain-man-esque vocal chops with virtuosic guitar playing to create one of the staples of the blues rock and music festival scene. Warren is prepping for his 29th Annual Christmas Jam at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, NC that includes over seven hours of music. The star-studded lineup includes Trey Anastasio & Classic TAB, The Avett Brothers, Les Bros. (Jaimoe, Marc Quinones, Jack Pearson, Lamar Williams Jr., Bruce Katz & more), Blackberry Smoke, with special guests Jake Shimabukuro, Holly Bowling, Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, Kevn Kinney, Mike Barnes and many more.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Now going on a twenty-plus year career, Kenny Wayne Shepherd continues to pump out genre-defining blues rock at a steady rate. My favorite song from him is Blue on Black, where he kills it with the octaver effect on his solos. Kenny is definitely worth catching if he comes through your city and the tickets aren’t over-priced either. His lengthy career on top of the blues charts has yielded millions of albums sold, 5 Grammy nominations, two Billboard Music Awards, seven #1 blues albums and a string of #1 rock singles. Thanks for helping to keep the blues alive, Kenny.