RICHARD TWEEDDALE’s Top 10 Blues

I’m Richard Tweeddale and I’ve been on the committee and a director of the Edinburgh Blues Club for 4 years and became its Chairman in March 2019. Originally a member of the club, I answered a ‘call to arms‘ when the original directors became overwhelmed with the workload the club presented.

I was initially, exposed to blues music as a child via my father, mainly the classics, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones etc. As a teenager and in my early twenties, I was mainly into rock and funk music but I found myself gravitating back towards the blues. In my late twenties, I started learning guitar and it was the blues I was inclined to learn. I had that classic realisation that most of what you listen to has it’s roots, in blues and often, it’s actually this blues influence that was most appealing to me. Since then I’ve been hooked on the blues.

1 – Layla – Clapton (D&TD)

Good old childhood association, I used to hear this song in my Dad’s car all the time and loved it. It was my first taste of the blues and I still love the song to this day. It’s also the first time a slide guitar caught my attention.

2 – Ball & Biscuit – White Stripes

Raw, dirty, 12 bar blues, solo’s and references to hard drugs, what’s not to like? It’s the simplicity of this track that gives it its appeal. It’s a great example of it’s not what you play, it’s how you play it.

3 – Cross Road Blues – Robert Johnson

This song transports me in time. What at first sounds like a very simple song, upon further listens reveals itself as rhythmically clever with lots of subtleties and variances.

4 – Gangster of Love – Johnny Guitar Watson

I just love the swagger of this tune by the flamboyant funkster himself. I’ve heard it played by live and it’s the live version where it really comes alive.

5 – Red House – Jimi Hendrix 

Just oozes class. A simple, conventional 12 bar structure, slow blues interspersed with Jimi’s solos. I love how Jimi played with this song when he performed it live, always keeping it fresh and different

6 – Plastic Hamburgers – Fantastic Negrito

A modern take on a familiar sound. Perhaps a contentious choice to blues purists but I love the groove and the funk in this song.

7 – Beggars & Hangers On – Slash’s Snakepit

Part of my journey from a rock lover to blues lover. A blues/hard rock amalgamation, Slash’s slide guitar work brought the blues to the forefront of my mind at a time when rock was my go to genre.

8 – Look Away – Larkin Poe 

I love the beat, the slide and the harmonies. Simple as that.

9 – No Good – Kaleo

Modernising the blues and making it cool again. A song entrenched in the blues is the most charming, regardless if it is rock, indie, alternative or whatever else you could call this song.

10 – My home is in the Delta – Muddy Waters

I love the intimacy of this song, it feels like Muddy is playing in your living room. This song (and the whole Folk Singer album) is like a re-set button when I feel the pace of life is getting to me.

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