Looking At The Few Blues Bands


It seems in the music genre that is Blues, the majority of the artists are solo acts but there are very few that are Blues bands. There are also many bands who have influences or inclinations towards Blues, and might even be considered “crossover” bands, but they are not predominantly Blues. Here is a list of the few bands that are primarily Blues or straight Blues.

Blues Brothers – This is a rhythm and blues revivalist band that was created in 1976 by comedians/actors John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as a part of a musical skit on Saturday Night Live. Belushi as “Joliet” Jake Blues and Aykroyd as Elwood Blues fronted the band of well-known, highly respected, actual Blues musicians. After making three appearances on SNL as the Blues Brothers, the band became a serious, bona fide Blues band with Belushi and Aykroyd fronting the band, releasing an album in 1978 called Briefcase Full of Blues. Also a major motion picture called the Blues Brothers, was made in 1980, a comedy film about the characters Jake and Elwood Blues. After the death of John Belushi in 1982, the Blues Brothers have continued to perform as a band with a rotating cast of guest singers and musicians. Well known songs include: Gimme Some Lovin, Sweet Home Chicago, and Soul Man.

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble – Stevie Ray Vaughan is the iconic Blues guitarist and Double Trouble was his rhythm section. The band formed in 1978, with Vaughan also doubling as lead vocalist. The group came to an end when Stevie Ray Vaughan died in a helicopter crash in 1990. Well known songs include: Crossfire, Pride and Joy, and Cold Shot.

Jeff Healey Band – Jeff Healey, a blind Blues guitarist, formed the Jeff Healey Band in 1985, Toronto, ON. The band later broke up in late 2000. Well known songs include: While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Angel Eyes, and See The Light.

Fabulous Thunderbirds – This is a band that’s classified as Blues Rock and Texas Blues, was formed in 1974 and is still active today. Well known songs include: Tuff Enuff, Wrap It Up, and Powerful Stuff.

Muddy Waters Blues Band – Fronted by famous Blues guitarist and singer Muddy Waters, this Blues band backed up singers like blues guitarist/singer B. B. King and big Mama Thornton. Winner of several grammy awards, this band was active from 1941- 1980. Well known songs include: Rollin’ Stone, Hoochie Coochie Man and Mannish Boy.

George Thorogood and The Destroyers – An American Blues-Rock band was started in 1974 and is still active today. Fronted by Blues-Rock guitarist George Thorogood, the band has released 16 studio albums. Well known songs include: Bad To The Bone, On Bourbon, One scotch, One Beer, and Who Do You Love?

Robert Cray Band – Formed in the late 1970’s, the Robert Cray Band is fronted by Blues guitarist/singer Robert Cray. The band is still active today. Well known songs include: Smokin’ Gun, Right Next Door (Because Of Me), and Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark.

The Legendary Blues Band – Formed in 1980 after quitting as Muddy Waters’ Blues Band. The band recorded 7 studio albums and was active until 1993. Well known songs include: Do The Get Down, Money Talks, and I Woke Up With The Blues.

Solo Blues Musicians And The Musicians Who Are Influenced By Blues

Although there are many famous Blues musicians, there are very few Blues bands. Famous Blues musicians like Bo Diddley, B.B. King, Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker, Eric Clapton, Etta James, and Janis Joplin, just to name very few, were backed up by bands or band members who were not apart of their permanent bands. Most of the bands were comprised of session musicians or touring musicians, who were temporarily or provisionally apart of the musicians’ entourage. There are a significant number of present day musicians, who are heavily influenced by Blues, but are not apart of bands that are considered Blues bands, for example: Duane Allman, Billy Gibbons, Jimi Hendrix, Slash, Keith Richards, Jim Morrison, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

Leah Benson