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Blues- rock

Blues-rock, or Blues Rock, is a hybrid musical genre combining elements of the blues with rock and roll. It began to develop as a particular style in the mid-1960s through the work of bands such as The Rolling Stones, who experimented with music from the old bluesmen like Elmore James, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and Champion Jack Dupree. (The Rolling Stones later abandoned the style and went on to more classic Chuck Berry-style rock.)

Blues-rock's best-known artist is probably Eric Clapton, whose work in the mid sixties, with The Yardbirds and with 60s supergroup Cream, as well as his work with Derek and the Dominos beginning in 1970, and his extensive solo career, have all been seminal in bringing of blues-rock into the mainstream.

In the late 60s Jeff Beck, also a former member of The Yardbirds, revolutionised the blues rock into a sort of Heavy Rock, taking the UK and the USA by storm with his band, The Jeff Beck Group which had among its members a young Rod Stewart on vocals and an even younger Ronnie Wood on bass. Jimmy Page, yet another former member of The Yardbirds, went out to form 'The New Yardbirds' which would soon become known as Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin was a huge force in the 70s 'blues-rock' scene.

Blues-rock has since been a smouldering fire that still has its influence – The Black Crowes being one contemporary example.

While rock and blues have always been historically closely linked, blues-rock as a distinct genre did not arise until the late 1960s. The genre was originally British, with artists like Alexis Korner and John Mayall forming groups that acted as a training ground for the future stars of the genre, while American bands like Canned Heat and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band were also pioneers. Blues-rock was characterized by bluesy improvisation and long jams.

Beginning in the early 1970s, American blues-rock grew to include Southern rock and hard rock bands like the Allman Brothers Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Fabulous Thunderbirds and ZZ Top, while the British scene became focused on heavy metal innovation. Blues-rock had a re-birth in the early 1990s and continues today, with many artists such as Tracy Conover, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, The Mods, Jonny Lang, Tommy Castro, Anthony Gomes, The Black Crowes, The Black Keys, The White Stripes and Joe Bonamassa performing and releasing album to enthusiastic fans.

A classic example of blues-rock is Cream's "Crossroads", adapted from Robert Johnson's "Cross Road Blues"; it fuses some of the lyrical and musical styles of blues with rock-styled tempo and guitar solos. Less heard but great examples nonetheless are almost all that Clapton played with The Yardbirds, particularly "Smokestack Lightnin'."

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