Blues punk or punk blues is a blend of punk rock and blues. Blues punk groups and musicians incorporate styles associated with protopunk and Blues Rock. Its origins comes very close to the garage rock of the 1960s and 1970s.
Punk blues strives to maintain the simplicity and emotion shared by punk and blues genres. Chet Weise, singer and guitarist of ‘Immortal Lee County Killers” explains that “the punk and blues react honestly to life. This is the blues, this is our blues. It is just slightly modified and faster”.
The Killers use disorientation as their greatest tool. Their cover of Muddy Water’s “Rolling Stone” is a great example. Disoriented listeners are forced to reach for recognizable shards of sound, and to recreate the music from pieces. Their first full-length record was ‘The Essential Fucked up Blues’. Despite the fuzziness, the chaos, the brutal volume of this collection, it maintained the music of the blues and also signifies the genres evolution.
Blues Punk Musicians
Before the launch of the punk movement in the late 1970s, many of the important artists like The MC5, The Stooges, The Who, The Sonics, Captain Beefheart and New York Dolls showed interested in American blues. Punk blues inspired garage rock of the mid-60s.
With the launch of their album ‘Prison Bound’ in 1988, the punk band Social Distortion began incorporating rockabilly, country and blues influences in to their music. At the same time, Rollins Band adopt punk oriented blues jams in the early 1990s. Also the British musician PJ Harvey explores an alternative avant-garde style.
The garage rock scene Detroit with bands like The White Stripes continues to thrive thanks to musicians and blues punk groups that help maintain the style, as The Detroit Cobras, Geraldine, The Reigning Sound, Mystery Girls, Soledad Brothers, The von Bondies, among others. The band from Boston Mr. Airplane Man also play their role in this style. Indie rock groups like The Kills and Deadboy & the Elephantmen are associated by the press to punk and blues genres.
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