By Lin Brehmer

bb 125 1 20 Blues Covers That Just Might Change Your LifeA friend of mine once observed, “You can’t forget the blues.” That is especially true in Chicago where this city offers the biggest free Blues Festival in the world this weekend.

Since Chicago Blues were the source of so much music that came out of the British Invasion, I thought we could come up with a list of 20 blues covers done by rock artists that just might change your life.

[lastfm]Savoy Brown[/lastfm]-Louisiana Blues.
A jam in the finest British rock tradition. Gotta love that Kim Simmonds.

[lastfm]The Doors[/lastfm]-Back Door Man.
The Lizard King does Willie Dixon proud. The little girls understand.

[lastfm]Ellen McIlwaine[/lastfm]-Crawling Kingsnake.
There’s a more recent version (2006), but you need to seek out the version from the album “Up From The Skies.” Just Ellen on vocals.

[lastfm]Stevie Ray Vaughan[/lastfm]-Mary Had A Little Lamb.
Buddy Guy turned a nursery rhyme into a blues classic and then Stevie made it a show-stopper.

[lastfm]Derek and the Dominoes[/lastfm]-Have You Ever Loved A Woman.
You could do a legitimate Clapton top 20 blues covers, but for all the work he’s done in the idiom, nothing compares to this Duane Allman and Eric Clapton summit. This is how you woo your best friend’s wife. If you’re into that sort of thing.

[lastfm]Boz Scaggs[/lastfm]-Loan Me A Dime.
Duane Allman was the session guitarist.

[lastfm]Bonnie Raitt[/lastfm]-Women Be Wise.
Bonnie’s debut is bursting with blues covers. I’ve always been partial to this Sippie Wallace number.

[lastfm]J. Geils Band[/lastfm]-Homework.
Otis Rush’s best known song done by these Beantown blues lovers.

[lastfm]Rory Gallagher[/lastfm]-Bullfrog Blues.
From Live in Europe. Please, I’m begging you, take a look at the live version on Youtube sometime. You’ll understand why all these people go off when Rory’s name is mentioned.

[lastfm]Jeff Beck[/lastfm]-Rollin’ and Tumblin.’
What about “I Ain’t Superstitious?” Dude, Imogen Heap’s vocals on this version are not to be trifled with. And Jeff is, well, Jeff.

[lastfm]Fleetwood Mac[/lastfm]- Rattlesnake Shake.
Peter Green era Mac. I’ve always loved a song that tells me, “You got to rock.”

[lastfm]Canned Heat[/lastfm]-On The Road Again.Where the boogie met East Indian influence and survived.

[lastfm]Bob Dylan[/lastfm]-Fixin’ To Die.
Recently done by [lastfm]G. Love[/lastfm] of all people. Dylan did it on his first album.

[lastfm]Janis Joplin[/lastfm]-Ball and Chain.
The blues leaked from her pores like bourbon perfumes a drunk.

[lastfm]Ram Jam[/lastfm]-Black Betty.
When the vans were rockin’ and the heads were knockin’, I doubt most knew this was a Leadbelly song.

[lastfm]The Rolling Stones[/lastfm]-“King Bee.”
This is the stuff that made the Stones roll.

[lastfm]Johnny Winter[/lastfm]- Be Careful With A Fool.
Off the album Johnny Winter. The solo, my friend.

[lastfm]Ten Years After[/lastfm]- Good Morning Little Schoolgirl.
In a word, randy.

[lastfm]Roy Buchanan[/lastfm]- Green Onions.
Not really a traditional blues cover, but if I didn’t mention Roy on this list I’d lose sleep and I can’t afford to do that.

[lastfm]Taj Mahal[/lastfm]- Statesboro Blues.
This is the arrangement that The Allman Brothers fell in love with.

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