Styles of blues: Electric blues

The blues started with a man, a guitar and a voice. This played well back in the days of street corners and quiet bars in the southern Delta. When the blues moved up north, and met the demanding audiences there, the move to plug in was a necessity. The Electric blues were born the day the first blues performer thought ‘I need to be louder.’


The music born of the amplification of blues music lead to the development of the biggest musical genre of the 20th century: rock and roll. Many rock and roll bands trace their music to Electric blues and blues players from the 30’s and 40’s. Without Electric blues we may never have had Elvis, Chuck Berry, The Beatles or any rock and roll at all!


The Electric blues


Electric blues and Chicago blues are closely associated with one another. This is because the blues first moved from the Delta to Chicago, and blues performers first started plugging in to get the volume they needed to be heard over bigger audiences.


Volume wasn’t all they got. They also brought with them all the sounds that you can only get from an electric guitar, perhaps the most famous sound of the last 100 years. There is no way that Chicago alone could contain Electric blues as it was soon found being played in Memphis and Texas – right around the Mississippi delta that first birthed the blues itself.


The first Electric blues musicians


The very first Electric blues musician is believed to be T-Bone Walker. He was born in Texas and recorded in Los Angeles in the 1940’s. He mixed in a bit of jazz and R&B with his style, but no one would mistake him for anything but a blues musician with an electric guitar.


Other early performers of the Electric blues include:


  • John Lee Williamson
  • Johnny Shines
  • Johnny Young
  • Floyd Jones
  • Snooky Pryor
  • J.T. Brown
  • Bo Diddley
  • B.B. King
  • Muddy Waters
  • John Lee Hooker


The importance of Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker can not be under emphasised. Muddy has been sited time and time again as an influence by many rock and roll bands, while also having the honor of being named as the 17th Greatest Guitar Player of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. John Lee Hooker explored the possibilities of Electric blues with a strong Delta influence. The two did a lot for the blues as a whole, and for Electric blues specifically.


The blues as we know them today, and as most have first heard it, is all thanks to B.B. King. Rolling Stone ranks him as the 6th Greatest Guitarist of all time. His work with U2 and Eric Clapton brought the blues to modern music listeners in a very real way. He may be 88, but you can still sometimes catch B.B. playing concerts around the world as he tirelessly brings the blues to everyone who wish to discover it.


Modern electric blues players


Electric blues never went out of style as many modern performers wear their love of Electric blues on their sleeve – and show it in their playing style.


You can expect to hear a heavy influence of Electric blues styles every time you hear Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Black Keys, The White Stripes, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Omar & The Howlers and the modern master, Eric Clapton.

SB at the 2012 Reading and Leeds Festivals

SB is set to perform at The 2012 Reading and Leeds Festivals. The band will hit the main stage at the Reading Festival on Friday, August 24th and the Leeds Festival on Saturday, August 25th. Read more

2012 European Shows announced

We’re pleased to announce the 2012 European tour dates and festivals.
Presale tickets are available now for the headline dates here!

Jun 16 – Greenfield Festival – Interlaken, Switzerland
Jun 17 – Le Plan – Ris-Orangis, France
Jun 19 – Fuzz Club -Athens, Greece
Jun 22 – Hurricane Festival – Scheessel, Germany
Jun 23 – Graspop – Dessel, Belgium Tickets
Jun 24 – Southside Festival – Neuhausen Ob Eck, Germany
Jun 26 – Backstage – Munchen, Germany
Jun 29 – With Full Force -Lobnitz, Germany
Jun 30 – Metropool -Hengelo, Netherlands
Jul 01 – Eurockéennes -Belfort, France
Jul 02 – Der Statt Bahnhof – Schweinfurt, Germany
Jul 04 – GMD -Graz, Austria
Jul 06 – Arena Ritten – Bolzano, Italy
Jul 07 – Skaters Palace – Munster, Germany
Jul 08 – Werfpop Festival – Leiden, Netherlands
Jul 10 – O2 Academy -London, United Kingdom

Thanks to everyone that has come out to the Autumn Tour 2011.

SB Album is #1 Amazon MP3 Album

SB Album is #1 on’s MP3 albums! Thanks to all of our loyal fans who have purchased our record. Cheers and have a great weekend!

Win a Meet & Greet

On Saturday, June 16th, you and two friends could be the guests at the sold out show at the Terminal 5 Club in New York.

The winner will receive four three VIP tickets and a pre-show meet and greet with us.

Soundgarden Festival Cancelled!

Soundgarden Festival, which SB was going to play on August 8th, has been cancelled. The full announcement is here. Ticket holders will receive a full refund direct from their ticket agents. Read more

Hello Germany!

Hey Deutschland,

We’re thrilled about coming back to Germany for 7 shows. It would be great to see as many guys of you as possible. Join our Facebook Event and invite your friends. Cheers!

Preorder our new Album. Bonus Edition CD & Limited Vinyl July 1th, 2012

We’ve launched a limited-time preorder for the Edition of our newest Album along with an exclusive t-shirt. The CD version hits stores on July 1st. Read more

Win tickets to Novarock Festival

AUSTRIA! Win 2 tickets to the Novarock Festival. 3 day festival-mayhem, camping… for free! Plus: we’ll personally meet the winners in our backstage-room and you may see our show on stage! Austrian fans only. Click here for info . Read more