How the Blues exploded and why it's back again: only in the new issue of Classic Rock

Classic Rock 275 - The Blues Boom
(Image credit: Future)

The blues: it’s the story of rock’n’roll’s past, but also its present... and its future. 

In the new issue of Classic Rock we take you back in time to the barrel houses and gin mills of America to meet some of its fearsome originators. Next it’s the blues explosion that followed them, and birthed classic rock as we know it. 

Finally we draw your attention to some of the present day’s most incendiary bands and artists who are discovering that the blues is the most exciting place to be.


Sister Rosetta Tharpe
The guitar heroine and gospel singer who blazed a trail and paved the way for Chuck Berry and the first wave of rock’n’roll.

Willie Dixon
The producer, bassist and songwriter was responsible for some of the blues’ – and popular music’s – enduring hits.

Howlin’ Wolf
The biggest, baddest voice of the Chicago blues scene, and a far-reaching inspiration.

BB King
The blues legend’s groundbreaking album Completely Well is the forgotten masterpiece that is due it’s time in the sun.

ZZ Top
How Tres Hombres made them a phenomenon as they defined the sound of Texan blues.

Gary Moore
The hard rocker who returned to his beloved blues roots and earned the respect of the King of the blues, for one.

Beverly Watkins
She didn’t record her first album until she was 60, but she was tearing up the blues circuit long before then.

Pub Rock
In the early 70s the smoky, sweaty back rooms of select London pubs were where all the best gigs were happening.

Jack White
There’s always another saviour comes along who is supposedly breathing new life into the blues. White is one of those who really did.

Fantastic Negrito
The Grammy-winning maverick who cheated death and became one of the blues’ biggest innovators.

Joanne Shaw Taylor
She’s the teenage blues fan from Solihull who’s become the genre’s biggest British star.

Larkin Poe
Sisters Megan and Rebecca Lovell’s road from classical to bluegrass to bluesy southern rock has been paved with screaming guitars, sibling harmonies and a touch of goth.

Samantha Fish
This singer/guitarist’s latest album is a winning blend of sweetness and savagery.

Also including Memphis Minnie, Cream, Son House, Whitesnake, Lead Belly, Joe Bonamassa, Ten Years After, Howlin’ Wolf, Rory Gallagher, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Free, Humble Pie, Muddy Waters, Crown Lands and more…

Classic Rock 275 - The Blues Boom

(Image credit: Future)

What's on your free digital album

Lockdown Blues
Need a cool soundtrack for self-isolation times? We’ve teamed up with the good people at Mascot Records to bring you this exclusive compilation of the very best new bluesy sounds out there, including Gary Moore, Joe Bonamassa, Walter Trout, Kris Barras Band, Supersonic Blues Machine and more.


The Dirt
“The industry has been decimated.” As rock music goes on lockdown, artists hope for a brave new world; how you can help support your favourite musicians, record stores, venues and shops during the lockdown… Welcome back Trivium, The Lickerish Quartet and Dennis DeYoung… Say hello to Silverthorne and Rookie… Say goodbye to Kenny Rogers, Bill Rieflin, Adam Schlesinger, Bill Withers…

Q&A: Gavin Rossdale
The Bush frontman on the paparazzi, fighting Keanu Reeves, and getting angry on new album The Kingdom.

Six Things You Need To Know About… Buffalo Summer
If you go down to the woods today, you might find these guys playing and singing and looking… a bit spaced out…

New albums from Soul Asylum, Palaye Royale, Nick Mason’s Saucerful Of Secrets, Pretenders, Trivium, Mike Tramp, Lamb Of God, Nightwish, Mark Lanegan… Reissues from Hawkwind, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, Sepultura, Yes, Spirit, Renaissance, Peter Straker, Sir Lord Baltimore… DVDs, films and books on Def Leppard, Fleetwood Mac, Steve Howe, Malcolm McLaren, Hawkwind, Nick Cave… Live reviews of Testament, Elvis Costello, Daddy Long Legs, Exodus, Nate Bergman…

Buyer’s Guide: Standard Time
Many rock stars have recorded albums of the great American standards. But which are the ones most worth checking out?

Who’s playing where and when (although expect further cancellations), including a separate list of re-scheduled gigs.

The Soundtrack Of My Life: Jason Isbell
The Drive-By Trucker and more on the special records, artists and gigs of lasting significance.

Classic Rock 275 is with UK stockists now and is also available to buy online. You can subscribe to Classic Rock below.

Classic Rock

Classic Rock is the online home of the world's best rock'n'roll magazine. We bring you breaking news, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes features, as well as unrivalled access to the biggest names in rock music; from Led Zeppelin to Deep Purple, Guns N’ Roses to the Rolling Stones, AC/DC to the Sex Pistols, and everything in between. Our expert writers bring you the very best on established and emerging bands plus everything you need to know about the mightiest new music releases.