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I think one of my favorite byproducts from this new Internet era of music is the increased popularity of so many great blues artists due to great footage of them playing live. Blues is the roots of rock and roll and the blues greats had such a profound influence on the classic rock era that I don't think we can really begin to understand artists/bands like Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin (and countless others) without going back to listen to their influences. Plus, along with seeing where those bands came from, these players are really what blues is all about with some of the most emotional and soulful music ever written.
"Stormy Monday" has been one of my favorite blues classics since I first heard it covered by the Allman Brothers Band... and then again later by Eric Clapton. Both of those are great versions, but I don't think either really lives up to the original by T-Bone Walker...
I was lucky enough to find a clip on Youtube of this legendary blues man playing that very song and I just had to share it.
Huge thanks to Youtube and mandy36 for uploading it.
I think why I always loved this song since my first listen is because of it's unique feel... a sort of late night blues, like you need to be listening to it with the sun coming up through the haze of a long night on the town. A slow blues jam with a lot of jazz in it and tons of soul, it's obvious why so many blues bands were drawn to it. It sounds at first like a pretty simple straight forward blues jam, but only a few people can capture that feel and really make it groove... And of course watching T-Bone Walker play it is watching one of the masters.
This particular clip is great, just pure blues class. Walker's guitar playing is sharp and soulful as he lays down fluid licks between is vocals. His playing is never over the top, just staying right in the mood and subtly taking everything a thousand levels higher... great song, amazing clip, legendary performer.
T-Bone Walker is one of those blues artists who I really hope gain some exposure and new fans because of the Internet and these clips like these as he is one of the greats. I know I'm always inspired by these blues players and getting to watch footage of them performing live, hopefully a few other people are as well.
If you're into blues, then you have to check out T-Bone Walker (if you haven't already)... one of the legends of the blues.