For Jazz Appreciation Month, this week’s All Blues doesn’t focus on a year, but rather, a concept: British Blues…and those who influenced it. All Blues takes a look at those British blues bands and the American blues legends that inspired them. Check out “All Blues” from 4 to 6 this Saturday afternoon on KUVO Jazz with host Geoff Anderson.

Starting in the 1950s, blues started to make inroads into the British music scene. The infiltration started with records brought to the UK by US GIs and by the 1960s American bluesmen were touring the Isles and playing festivals. Some of the early US bluesmen to make the trip across the pond included Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Terry, and Brownie McGhee and Willie Dixon. At the time, these blues greats were either ignored or only modestly acknowledged in their home country. But in Great Britain, they were welcomed as heroes.

The American blues, in turn, inspired many a British lad to take up a guitar, harmonica or set of drums to recreate that sound and push it further. Bands like Cream, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Climax Blues Band, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Savoy Brown and many more took up the blues mantle and, in many cases, brought the blues back to America where it had originated. The popularity of many of these blues-oriented bands stimulated an interest among the public in the US in the origin of this music and led to a revival of the careers of many of those American bluesmen who went to Britain years earlier. Those British blues bands went a long way in keeping the blues alive and thriving, as they are today, in the land of their birth.



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