Welcome to Blues Week
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…
The 25 best blues guitarists of all time
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…
10 best amps for blues
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
The 25 best female blues artists ever
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…
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Couldn't Stand The Weather 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.
Double Trouble's Chris Layton, Tommy Shannon on Stevie Ray Vaughan
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.
Jimmie Vaughan remembers Stevie Ray Vaughan
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.
Interview: Robert Cray
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.
How to play blues guitar like…
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.
Slash: my favourite blues guitarists of all time
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...
Warren Haynes' 10 greatest blues albums of all time
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…
Joe Bonamassa: My 11 favourite blues guitarists
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."
BB King: the exclusive interview
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…
A-Z of the blues
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
Walter Trout on the 12-bar blues
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!
Albert Lee on 12-bar blues variations
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.
Gary Moore talks blues-rock
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
How to play fingerstyle blues guitar
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
Kenny Wayne Shepherd's 5 rules for playing the blues
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."
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
The life and times of Howlin' Wolf
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.
Joe Bonamassa talks blues power
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
The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach talks blues power
"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.