Multi-talented Californian blues artist took a few moments out of her busy schedule promoting her excellent new studio album “The Well” to share with us her five favourite blues songs of all time. And what a list Katie has prepared for the readers on Blues Matters.

We hope you enjoy!

1) Tipitina – Professor Longhair

As a piano player myself, many would consider this a “rite of passage” in the blues piano world. The late Allen Toussaint called him “The Bach of Rock” in that he was very much a pioneer to adding new elements to his blues, like rhumba, mambo, zydeco, and calypso. When you hear him sing those iconic octave jumps to the depths of his bayou soul, you know it’s him. New Orleans piano styles and the artists that came after him will always name Fess as a number one influence, which is why there is a club in uptown called Tipitina’s, opened in 1977. I always love hearing artists like Jon Cleary cover this song at shows and had the pleasure of hearing the late Dr. John and Toussaint play them live as well.

2) Hound Dog – Big Mama Thornton

This original version has all the soul and gusto a person needs. As a child I was only exposed to the Elvis version, and when I FINALLY heard this, I felt like a fool, and the floodgates of blues opened for me. Lightbulbs and fireworks went off in my head that forever changed my course. John Lee Hooker is on guitar in this video.


3) I’m a Woman – Koko Taylor Live

You wanna get down and dirty, allllll the way down, listen to this. Nothing gets me more pumped and feels more like straight ahead blues than this recording. The groove, and iconic Koko laying out the TRUTH! No matter where I am when I hear this, I am immediately transported to a hot sweaty club and loving every drop of sweat on my skin. She sang ya down to your bone marrow.


4) Little Wing – Stevie Ray Vaughan

His version of this, as I am sure it does for all of us, arrests me. If I’m driving in my car, arrive at my destination, and this track comes on, well folks, I’m gonna be late to the meeting. I always stop what I’m doing, remember to catch my breath, and hear him play truly from the SPIRIT. Every time I hear it, I cry and mess up the mascara a bit. He truly spoke to us with his instrument, didn’t he?

5) When My Train Pulls In, Gary Clark Jr.

Fast forward to more modern sounds, I love listening to this while getting ready to play a gig. The story and instrumentation have the determined spirit I very much identify with. There’s a serious edge, minor, dark, lots of drama. Aside from Gary’s talent, this is also really well produced.

My favourite release this year would be Joanna Connor’s “4801 South Indiana Ave.” Girl can shred! It’s her 14th album and she’s a shining example of a fine wine.

We interviewed Quinn in the June/July 2021 issue of Blues Matters – you can get your copy here and see what he had to say: