The Los Angeles Times wrote that Johnson's recordings for the albums "revolutionized the Mississippi Delta style that became the foundation of the Chicago blues sound". The Wall Street Journal wrote that "when his album King of the Delta Blues Singers made its belated way to England in the mid-1960s, it energized a generation of musicians". English rock musician Eric Clapton cited King of the Delta Blues Singers, along with its second volume, as an early inspiration on his recording career. In 1980, King of the Delta Blues Singers became the first album to be inducted by the Blues Foundation into the Blues Hall of Fame. The Hartford Courant selected King of the Delta Blues Singers for its list of the 25 Pivotal Recordings That Defined Our Times (1999). In 2003, the album was ranked number 27 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, with its ranking dropping to number 374 on the 2020 update of the list. (The album was not included in the 2012 version of the Rolling Stone list, instead being replaced by The Complete Recordings at number 22.) Mojo magazine ranked it number six on its list of 100 Records That Changed the World (2007).
Pointblank features more traditional artists such as John Lee Hooker, one of the greatest blues singers, guitarists, and songwriters ever. Hooker, who took traditional music from the Mississippi Delta and brought it to the world of rock-and-roll (he was inducted in 1991 into the Rock Hall of Fame), reworks some of his classics and introduces several new songs on his latest release, "Chill Out." Among the musicians showing up to lend a hand are Van Morrison, Carlos Santana, and Charles Brown.
Prior to Clapton's release, the biggest-selling blues album in the modern era was guitarist Robert Cray's classic "Strong Persuader." Cray, who blends Memphis blues and R&B with a smooth vocal style, has released five albums since then, and although none has hit the same heights artistically or commercially, each features strong songwriting and even better playing. His latest, "Some Rainy Morning" (Mercury), is a tasty collection of ballads and shuffles that finds him working in a more sophisticated mode without his usual horn section.
Two of the best record labels devoted especially to blues are Alligator Records (located in that bastion of the blues, Chicago) and Blind Pig. Some of Alligator's recent releases include: "Straight Up!" by the kings of West Coast Jump blues, Little Charlie and the Nightcats; "Deep Down," a solo album by Chicago blues harp legend Carey Bell; "In Your Eyes," from Sugar Blue, who blends blues harp with a variety of other influences, including rock, jazz, and R&B; and "Ace in the Hole," from Elvin Bishop, whose tongue-in-cheek lyrics and country stylings are enlivened by his blistering guitar work.
This is my perspective in examining the influences of Hispanic music cultures on African-American blues musicians. I will argue that social history, blues lyrics, musical evidence, and the life histories of black entertainers reveal that musical interaction between African-American blues musicians and Hispanic musicians has taken place in at least two primary areas: the Texas-Mexico border region, where downhome blues guitarists were influenced by the lifestyle of Mexican street singers and their chordophonic musical traditions; and New Orleans, where Cuban rhythms particularly affected a school of blues pianists who developed the New Orleans "sound" of rhythm and blues. To a great extent, however, these Hispanic influences on African-American musicians have been masked by marketing constraints and the zealous efforts of music critics and blues revivalists to maintain generic purity and the image of the "bluesman." 2b1af7f3a8