Colin Campbell is a board member with Edinburgh Blues Club in Scotland and one of our regular contributing writers. When asked to do this he said, “This is like being asked to walk to the moon, really difficult to choose as they change daily if not weekly. This is my Top 10 but in no real precise order. I have already written 5 different versions of this before being asked to do the list, and could all still change tomorrow. Thanks for being given the chance”.

1.   Albert King –  I’ll Play The Blues for You ( 1972)

Albert King was unique, when I first heard this song it just blew my mind how someone could play a Flying V guitar the way he did and vocally Albert ranks as one of the best ever. He put so much emotion into his lyrics and guitar playing, it introduced me to the “feeling” that is the blues genre.


2.   Larry Garner – Love Her With A Feeling (1993)

Like all my choices this is another singer-songwriter-guitarist that I have managed to see live. It sees things from a female perspective and how she wants to be treated, the lyrics on this are superb and I just love his Mississippi drawl. Lke a lot of blues songs, it is full of sexual innuendo and it just puts a grin on my face every time I hear it and puts you in that place the first time you heard the song and the embarrassment I felt hearing it live with a lot of females in the audience, just brilliant, the man from Baton Rouge.


3.   Robert Cray –  Right Next Door (Because Of Me)

I could choose any Robert Cray song, very hard to choose, there are so many, but this is my favourite tune. I’m a lyric sort of person and some of these are just so bitingly honest it defies description how honest the lyrics are and when he marries his guitar with smooth vocals, I just feel humbled. Never get tired of hearing this.

4.   Led Zeppelin – When The Levee Breaks (1971)

Well, had to be a track by this band! I saw Page and Plant play this a few years back, a phenomenal rework of a tune. Everything is right in the groove and a real homage to the delta bluesmen who were the roots to this bands music. Growing up, I had no idea they were a blues band, hey it’s all music in the end. But Robert Plant’s vocals added to slide guitar what’s not to like!

5.   Kyla Brox – Pain & Glory (2019)

One of the best blues singers in the world. Seeing her live is such an experience, she’s at the top of her game just now. Lyrically this song is a bit cheesy maybe but sung like an angel. It deserves more plaudits and I feel her range is better than most around and she is very passionate about what she sings about. A great band as well. I just really enjoy this tune it’s probably one of the best from last year but there have been so many.

6.  Keb Mo – Just Like You (1996)

An absolute genius in terms of how to deliver a song and address a willing audience. This is a very moving and emotional song about integration and racial tension, thought-provoking tuneful and very powerful. It explains part of the reason why listening to the blues is so important not just dancing to a rhythm but a song that feels like he has lived this and come through it despite what trials and tribulations have been in his life.

7.  B.B. King/U2 – When Love Comes to Town (1989)

B.B. had to be there, again so many songs to choose from, Thrill Has Gone was a close second, but this song seems to capture him at his best and mixing with a rock band was such a cool and exciting thing to do. His tone and clarity are second to none, a really good blues riff disguised as popular music. Music is always evolving and this led to other bands progressing such as The Black Keys and The White Stripes.

8.  Rufus Thomas – Walking The Dog (1963)

Just a classic song, ok, not specifically blues orientated but with similar notation and Rufus live was a hoot from start to finish. He never took himself seriously but what a singer and this was a signature tune for him. Soul meets blues and the beat goes on.

9. Rory Gallagher – Bullfrog Blues (Live from The Irish tour 1974)

A pure genius on guitar and vocals, best showman I have seen and that says something. This version is superb and really captures the man at his best. Full of energy and a rawness that could not be beaten. Often copied but never bettered and possibly never will be, rightly a blues legend whether on acoustic or electric guitar!

10. Ian Siegal – The Fear (2012)

Another great singer-songwriter who could have been more famous if he really wanted to be but happy with his lot, he does not really go with awards and fame, preferring to be on the periphery, but what vocals on this tune and on the album Candy Store Kid as a whole. His gruff snarling vocals match his temperament, long may he play the blues and hand the baton forward to a new generation.

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