B is for… Badass!
Blues can be restrained and reflective or just badass as hell. Albert King’s brooding 1967 release Born Under A Bad Sign falls into the latter category.
Played on Lucy, his ‘58 Gibson Flying V, King peppers the song with stinging licks, backed by Booker T & The MGs and The Memphis Horns. Equally badass is Death Letter Blues by Son House played on a resonator guitar. House (known as Eddie James House Jnr to his nearest and dearest) was a huge influence on country blues legend Robert Johnson. This live cover version by The White Stripes is also bad to the bone.
B is also for… Black cat bone
Often placed in a mojo bag, black cat bones were carried by blues singers to ward off evil. Muddy Waters mentions said bone, and a mojo, in his 1954 recording of (I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man.