The British Blues Boom, which flowered from 1965-1968, began as extension of earlier rythm & bluees phase and finally petered out leaving strong nucleus of formidable instrumentalists with abiding knowledge of Blues forms and the technique to carry these ideas forward in creating new types of virtuoso Rock ‘n’ Roll.
The Graham Bond Organization at The 1965 National Jazz and Blues Festival held at the Richmond Athletic Grounds, Richmond, Surrey, UK on August 7th, 1965
Dates given above indicate peaking of interest in British Blues; but several respected Blues ‘fathers’ like John Mayall, Alexis Korner, John Baldry, and Graham Bond had run blues-based outfits for years. Genre ranged from bottleneck/tambourine ‘delta’ Blues to all-electric ‘city’ Blues based on Chicago and Detroit downtown guitar styles.
The Rolling Stones – 1964
Early Rolling Stones material shows marked interest in former style, but real boom came when British guitarists like Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Stan Webb and Alvin Lee emerged as masters of the City style already used by legendary U.S. guitar giants such as B. B. King, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Albert King, and Freddy King.
Fleetwood Mac – BBC session – 1969
Chief British outfit for boom period was John Mayall’s Blues Breakers. With Clapton, then Peter Green, and later Mick Taylor, later of Rolling Stones fame, as guitar frontmen, Mayall’s reputation as premier British Blues outfit was durable throughout the late sixties. Other outfits of high standard, Chicken Shack and Fleetwood Mac and the occasional Blues soloist Duster Bennett spread the word and impresario/producer Mike Vernon founded a new label, the Blue Horizon expressly to expose this wealth of talent.
Boom’s real legacy lies in later development of new, instrumental standards in Rock ‘n’ Roll and a style based on instrumental virtuosity and epic soloing. Although loath to copy their own national sources, American guitarists assiduously learned the style second-hand; rock guitar received its biggest boost in technique and style for ten years. These influences remain.
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