Blues All The Time: 20 Essential Songs from the Blues’ First Century

16. “Born Under A Bad Sign” by Albert King (1967) A song so popular and enduring that even Homer Simpson has covered it, Albert King’s big-band blues number was an unlikely hit from the best soul label in America, thanks to his brassy vocals and the sturdy Stax funk of Booker T & the MGs. Even as King details a life of bad luck, it becomes clear he’s talking about something larger than himself, possibly the life of the blues or the fate of black people in America. 17. “Voodoo Chile” by Jimi Hendrix (1968) The bulk of this epic jam showcases Hendrix making love to (or with?) his guitar, but the heart of the song is the interplay between Hendrix and the Experience. As the band deconstruct the blues riff, he turns blues mythology (“the night I was born/  Lord, I swear the moon turned a fire red”) into hippie psychedelia. 18. “La Grange” by ZZ Top (1973) Long before the beards and ’33 Ford coupe, this Houston trio wrote some of the gnarliest Lone Star blues rock imaginable, and this hit from Tres Hombres remains a highlight in their catalog. Billy Gibbons’ guitar sounds like an idling hot…

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