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Chapter 52: Smokestack Lightning

Electric blues & blues rock

Blues, meet electric guitar. The signature genre of broken hearts, typically tortured and melancholy, becomes strangely confident once plugged in, filled with fuck-the-world swagger. In the hands of John Lee Hooker or Muddy Waters, the guitar is a tool of chaos, adding an unpredictable racket to lean and mean songs. The singers here sound equally electrified, whether delivering Howlin’ Wolf’s acid-drenched growl or Janis Joplin’s grimy bellow.
1. Muddy Waters

Mannish Boy

2. John Lee Hooker


3. Dale Hawkins

Susie Q

4. Howlin' Wolf

Smokestack Lightning

5. John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers

Parchman Farm

6. Big Brother & The Holding Company

Piece of My Heart

7. Muddy Waters

Got My Mojo Working

8. Canned Heat

Pony Blues

9. Howlin' Wolf


10. Janis Joplin

Me and Bobby McGee