Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages Rock's Backpages
the online library of pop writing

T-Bone Walker: The Complete Imperial Recordings, 1950-1954 (Imperial/EMI)

Charles Shaar Murray, Guitar World, 1991

CONTEMPORARY BLUES guitar starts here. True enough, everything has its origins in something else: Aaron Thibaux "T-Bone" Walker (1910 – 1975) had hung out in Oklahoma alongside Charlie Christian, the short-lived visionary who "invented" the electric guitar as a modern musical instrument; and the single-string licks and lines T-Bone Walker played were themselves based on the pioneering work of 1920s acoustic bluesmen like Lonnie Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson, whom T-Bone had known as a kid in Texas. Nevertheless, T-Bone Walker is the guy who defined the turf, and everybody else (from B.B. King, Lowell Fulson, Gatemouth Brown and Chuck Berry to Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Cray and Stevie Ray Vaughan) has simply refined or extended it. Listen to any modern blues lead guitar, and you'll hear T-Bone Walker's original licks coming back at you.

Total word count of piece: 563


Becoming a member is easy. Membership gives you access to all the thousands of articles in the library.

Click here to go to Subscribe page.

Click here for academic and other group subscriptions.