Blues Rock Origins, the Birth of a Legendary Genre – Pt. 1

Blues-rock is a music genre that emerged in England in the 60s, when blues was languishing in the United States. This last genre was the source of inspiration for almost every British band of the time.

Although blues lovers didn’t agree with the use of electric guitars, the power of that -relatively- new instrument excited musicians such as Sir Eric Clapton and Mark Taylor, who later on joined the mythical band, The Rolling Stones.

As rock became more psychedelic, it moved away from its root: blues. But even Jimmy Page, of Led Zeppelin, recognized that in 1968 many of his pieces were impregnated in blues, like When the Levee Breaks.

One of the most interesting examples is the Rolling Stones, who at the beginning in 1962 considered themselves purists of blues. Anyway, keep reading to learn more about the most representative bands on this genre.

The Yardbirds

The Yardbirds is a group of British rock and rhythm & blues formed back in 1963, particularly active during the decade of 1960, being one of the most iconic bands of the call British Invasion. The band separated in 1968, although they returned to the stage in the 90s.

Their style was focused on a kind of English version of what the traditional American blues musicians were doing, and in the same way, they got to work in collaboration with prominent bluesmen like Sonny Boy Williamson II.

Apart from the influence it had at the time, which was moderate, the reason why this group is remembered most is because of its ranks 3 of the most important guitarists in rock history: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page.

John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers

It was a pioneer band of English blues led by the singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist John Mayall, who used the name of the band from 1963 to 1967 when the rest of the group left him for about fifteen years, until 1982 when the “Return of the Bluesbreakers” was announced, furthermore they have been active ever since. The name has been the same without distinction for the recordings of the leader and the ones with the whole band.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience

The Jimi Hendrix Experience was a British-American rock band from the late le1960s, which despite its short existence had a decisive influence on the later development of rock. The band really stood out mainly for the virtuosity of the lead guitarist: Jimi Hendrix, who is considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time by many music publications and writers.

Some of the most popular songs from the group’s only three studio albums are “Purple Haze,” “Foxy Lady,” “Hey Joe,” “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” “All Along The Watchtower” (by Bob Dylan), “Red House”, “Little Wing” and “Angel.”

Although Hendrix was the leader and center of attention, the other two members were vital and held great importance in the success of the group. The band disbanded in June of 1969 due to the constant musical inequalities between Jimi and Noel Redding. Later with his replacement, Billy Cox, the band would come to be called Band of Gypsys.