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50 Great British Blues Recordings – Part 10

46) Kim Simmonds appears to have never lost his love for the blues with Struck by Lightning (2004; “Struck by Lightning”, NRBQ’s “Ain’t No Free”, “Talking ‘Bout New Orleans” and the reprise of “Struck by Lightning” all stand out) and his two solo acoustic blues CDs Solitaire (1997; best tracks: “Bad Morning”, the slide instrumental “Blind Alley”, and “I’m Cuttin’ Out”) and Blues Like Midnight (2001; try “Hold On Baby”, “My Woman Blues” and “Blues Like Midnight”).

(Yup; I got it signed by Kim)

Kim and his current version of Savoy Brown are still at it, as witnessed by Goin’ to the Delta (2014; with “Cobra”, “Goin’ to the Delta”, “Just a Dream” and “I Miss Your Love”).

While not as solid as my previous Savoy Brown recommendations, they’re all still worth checking out.

47) Ten Years After – Stonedhenge (1969/2002)
The 2002 reissue of this mostly blues LP by Alvin Lee’s Ten Years After has 4 bonus tracks, including the single version of their Woodstock signature piece, “I’m Going Home”, plus “Boogie On”. “Hear Me Calling” is a great blues song, later covered with vibrant intensity by Slade on Slade Alive!.

This band’s first LP, Ten Years After (1967/2002), was nearly all-blues with the 2002 reissue adding 6 bonus tracks from the same time period. Paul Jones’ “I Want to Know”, Blind Willie Johnson’s “I Can’t Keep From Crying, Sometimes”, Howlin’ Wolf’s “Spoonful” and Sonny Boy Williamson II’s “Help Me” all make for pretty solid listening. “Rock Your Mama” (a version of B.B. King’s “Rock Me Baby”) is a bonus track.

48) Ten Years After – The Chrysalis Years 1969–1972 (2010)
This 3-CD set is a great value that collects Ten Years After LPs 4 through 8 (from Ssssh. to Rock & Roll Music to the World) and includes a couple of bonus tracks. Good blues tracks include “Two Time Mama”, Sonny Boy Williamson I’s “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”, “I Woke Up This Morning”, “Year 3000 Blues”, Arthur Crudup’s ”My Baby Left Me”, “One of These Days”, “Turned Off TV Blues” and “Choo Choo Mama”.

Just want the blues from Mr. Lee? Then Alvin Lee and Ten Years After’s Pure Blues (1995) compilation will make you very happy. The 13 tracks (it shoulda been a double CD set, at least) span Alvin’s entire career from 1967 up to 1995.

49) Robin Trower – Dreaming the Blues (2004)
This 2-CD collection of 20 live (1974–1998; from This Was Now) and studio (from 1994’s 20th Century Blues and 1997’s Someday Blues) blues tracks spans much of guitarist Robin Trower’s post-Procol Harum solo years. My faves: “Alethea”, “Too Rolling Stoned”, “A Little Bit of Sympathy”, Robert Johnson‘s “Crossroads”, “Extermination Blues”, “Precious Gift”, the dreamy “Secret Place”, “I Want You to Love Me” and “Someday Blues”.

All of Robin’s Procol Harum tracks are well worth seeking out, especially his tribute to Jimi Hendrix, “Song for a Dreamer” (the songs on Trower’s first few solo LPs all pretty much sound like Hendrix tributes as well).

50) The Yardbirds – The Yardbirds Ultimate! (2001)
This incredible Rhino 2-CD box set covers the entire career of this amazing band with stunning examples that showcase each of The Yardbirds’ famous lead guitar players: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. My favorite blues songs by the band that turned me on to the blues include Billy Boy Arnold’s “I Wish You Would”, Bo Diddley’s “I’m a Man” and “Here ‘Tis” from the Clapton era; “I Ain’t Done Wrong” (Elmore James’ “Done Somebody Wrong”), Mose Allison’s “I’m Not Talking”, Tiny Bradshaw’s (by way of the Johnny Burnette Trio) “The Train Kept A-Rollin’”, “Lost Woman” (a re-written version of Snooky Pryor’s “Someone to Love Me”) and “Jeff’s Boogie” (Chuck Berry’s “Guitar Boogie”) from the Beck era; “Stroll On” (a reworking of “The Train Kept A-Rollin’” for the film Blow-up) from the brief duel lead guitars Beck/Page era; and “Drinking Muddy Water” (Hambone Willie Newbern’s “Rollin’ and Tumblin’”) and the Yardbirds’ most Led Zeppelin-esque track, “Think About It” from the Page era. Although it’s not a blues song, it should be noted that this set also includes the only Yardbirds version of “You’re a Better Man Than I” with an extra verse.

That finishes up my Top 50…but wait — there’s just a bit more on the way!

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