Blues  •  Modern Electric Blues

Contemporary Blues

Contemporary Blues draws upon traditional acoustic and electric blues, but offers a more smoothed-out take on the genre that incorporates the influences of rock, pop, R&B, and/or folk. As such, contemporary blues is most often (though not always) electric, and rarely (though once in a while) purist. Because of its up-to-date production and mellower audience sensibility, the style tends to be more polished and sometimes even a bit genteel; it's still definitely soulful, but not quite as earthy or gritty as the music that predates it, and not as aggressive or fiery as modern-day electric blues from Chicago or Texas. Since it's informed by other types of music, contemporary blues has a greater chance of crossing over to pop, album rock, or adult-contemporary radio formats. Artists like Robert Cray, Keb' Mo', and prodigies Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang epitomize the contemporary blues sound.