Britain Plays the Blues

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How did all those British rock bands learn to play the blues in the 1960s and why were they so fascinated by the form? What was the unlikely impact of the Yardbirds, the Animals, the Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann, John Mayall, Cream and other British bands introducing white audiences to the blues in the U.S.? Most people think their education came from blues records they got their hands on in the U.K. And that playing here was something of an insult to original blues artists. Actually, it was a lot more complicated than that. [Book cover above of Peter Green, leading British blues guitarist in the 1960s and a founder of Fleetwood Mac who died in July]

Yesterday, I found a nifty BBC documentary directed by Chris Rodley called Blues Britannia that resolves those questions and more. Here’s Blues Britannia...

       

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