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T-Bone Walker


As one of the first Electric Blues guitarists, Texas-born T-Bone Walker influenced the course of blues history with his direct, emotional, single-note lead guitar. Along with a few other players (such as jazz pioneer Charlie Christian), Walker plugged his guitar in to make it stand out among the other instruments of his band. Sustaining bends, stinging yet elegant licks, fast-picked single notes -- each has their roots in Walker's fluid playing. His singing was powerful and versatile as well, effortlessly delivering a soft ballad as easily as leading some steamy Jump Blues. Among the artists who have cited him as a primary influence are none other than B.B. King, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and Albert King. These three musicians -- and basically every rock and blues artist -- exhibit elements of Walker's style, elaborating on his pioneering runs. The song "They Call it Stormy Monday (But Tuesday's Just as Bad)" is a certified classic, while many of Walker's other songs are regularly covered as well.

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