Blues for Christmas: A gift-giving guide (Video on webpage)

Blues for Christmas: A gift-giving guide
December 8, 2009
Rhetta Akamatsu

If you have music lovers on your gift list this Christmas, why not give the gift of the Blues? Whether the recipient is an avid blues fan or just interested in learning more about the genre, the following CDs make perfect presents!

First of all, women in blues deserve more respect and attention than they often get. Essential Women in Blues from House of Blues is the perfect answer! My favorite blues CD of all time, this disc features classic blues women like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey, lesser known but great artists like Sister Rosetta Thorpe and Victoria Spivey, and contemporary greats like Marcia Ball and Lucinda Williams.

To further anyone's blues education in the most enjoyable way imaginable, the new Chicago Blues: A Living History is ideal. The double CD, nominated for a Grammy this year, allows listeners to experience the Chicago blues sound from the 1940's to the present through performances by four living legends: Lurrie Bell, Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, and Billy Branch, along with equally stellar guest stars.

For fans of classic blues done by contemporary artists, or the myriad fans of either Eric Clapton or Robert Johnson, give Eric's latest, Me and Mr. Johnson. On this CD, Eric covers 14 of the 29 songs Robert Johnson recorded in his short life in an admirable fashion.

When it comes to new female blues singers, Ruthie Foster is one to watch. Her CD, The Truth According to Ruthie Foster, is an effortless blend of soul and blues and is bound to please your blues lover.

John Hammond's new CD, Rough and Tough, is nominated for a Grammy this year. One listen to this live album, recorded at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in New York City (!) shows why this man has been a consummate blues performer since the blues revival of the 1960's.

So make someone happy and give the blues for Christmas this year!
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