History of British Blues


Bands Directory


Directory of early British blues bands, their formation, composition and years active


This directory has been compiled to acknowledge the involvement and contribution of the early blues bands in creating the British Blues Scene.
Click here for a similar directory of early British blues artists.

Introduction to the details listed

Name – the commonly know name of the band

More information about each band can be found by clicking the band’s name, this will take you to the associated Wikipedia entry if present or to an other source if not. Also included below the band’s name, where appropriate, are links to other articles on this website with references to the blues band listed.

Formation – date and origins of the evolution of the band

Composition – original composition of the band. Note that many bands often had several other members come and go during the lifetime of the band (John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers for instancehas had 51 members or associated members since the inseption of the band in 1963). For full delails see the Wikipedia entry by following the Band Name link).

Years Active – period(s) in which the band was active


The Early British Blues Bands Directory …

This directory is at an early stage in development – more to be added soon.

If you have any comments or memories of the orginal bands you would like to share, please email [email protected]

AFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
The Animals1962/63 - when Eric Burdon joned the Alan Price Rhythm & Blues ComboEric Burdon (vocals)
Alan Price (keyboards)
Hilton Valentine (guitar)
John Steel (drums)
Chas chandler (bass)
Animals and Friends
Eric Burdon & The New Animals
BFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
Chris Barber's Jazz Band1954 - when Chis Barber took over leadership of the Ken Colyer's Jazzmen and Pat Halcox replaced Ken Colyer.Chris Barber (trombone)
Ken Colyer (trumpet)
Monty Sunshine (clarinet)
Lonnie Donegan (banjo)
Jim Bray (bass)
Ron Bowden (drums)
2003- present as The Big Chris Barber Band
Ottilie Patterson
UK tours of:
Big Bill Broonzy
Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee
Muddy Waters
The Birds1964 - originally 'The Thunderbirds' they changed their name to 'The Birds' after being on the same bill as Chris Farlowe & The ThunderbirdsRonnie Wood (guitar, vocals)
Ali McKenzie (vocals,harp)
Tony Munroe (guitar, vocalds)
Kim Gardner (bass, vocals)
Bob Langham (drums)
1964-1967Small Faces
The Blues Band1979 - by Dave Kelly (previously with the John Dummer Band) and Paul Jones (previously with Manfed Mann)Dave Kelly (guitar)
Paul Jones (Vocals, Harp)
Gary Fletcher (bass)
Tom McGuiness (guitar)
Hughie Flint (drums)
Manfred Mann
The Manfreds
Blues Incorporated1961 - by Alexis Korner (previously with Chris Barber's Jazz Band) and Cyril DaviesAlexis Korner (guitar)
Cyril Davies (harp)
Long John Baldry (vocals)
Jack Bruce (bass)
Dick Heckstall-Smith
Charlie Watts (drums)
1961-1966Cyril Davies' All Stars
The Graham Bond Organisation
Herbie Goins
The Graham Bond Organisation1963 - by Graham Bond (previously with the Don Rendell Quartet)Graham Bond (saxophone, vocals)
John McLaughlin (guitar)
Jack Bruce (bass)
Ginger Baker (drums)
1963-1974Don Rendell Quartet
Blues Incorporated
Ginger Baker's Airforce
CFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
Chicken Shack1965 - by Stan Webb, Alan Morley and Andy SylvesterStan Webb (guitar)
Alan Morley (drums
Andy Sylvester (bass)
Savoy Brown
Fleetwood Mac
Christine Perfect (McVie)
Keef Hartley
Climax Chicago Blues Band1967 - by Colin Cooper, Pete Haycock, Derek Holt, Richard Jones, George Newsome and Arthur WoodColin Cooper (vocals, harp)
Pete Haycock (guitar, vocals)
Derek Holt (guitar)
Richard Jones (bass)
George Newsome (drums)
Arthur Wood (keyboards)
1972-present as the Climax Blues Band
Cream1966 - when Eric Clapton (previously with The Yardbirds / John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers) met Ginger Baker (previously with The Graham Bond Organisation - which included Jack Bruce as a member)Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals)
Jack Bruce (bass, vocals)
Ginger Baker (drums)
1993 (one-off reunion)
The Graham Bond Organisation
John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers
Blind Faith
DFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
Spencer Davis Group1963 - by Spencer Davis (originally called The Rhythm & Blues Quartette)Spencer Davis (guitar, harp, vocals)
Steve Winwood (organ, vocals)
Muff Winwood (bass)
Pete York (drums)
Blind Faith
Aynsley Dunbar's Retaliation1967 - after Aynsley left John Mayall's BluesbreakersAynsley Dunbar (drums)
Jon Morshead (guitar)
Victor Brox (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Keith Tillman (bass)
1967-1969John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers
Jeff Beck Group
EFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
FFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames1961 - when backing Billy Fury as 'The Blue Flames'Georgie Fame (keyboards, vocals)
Colin Green (guitar)
Red Reece (drums)
Tex Makins (bass)
1961-1966Jimi Hendrix Experience
Fleetwood Mac1967 - when Peter Green left John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers and suggested to Mick Fleetwood and Jeremy 'Mac' Spencer that they should form a bandPeter Green (guitar)
Mick Fleetwood (drums)
Jeremy Spencer (guitar)
John McVie (bass)
John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers
Savoy Brown
Chicken Shack
Free1968 - by Paul Rodgers, Paul Kossoff, Andy Fraser and Simon KIrkPaul Rodgers (vocals)
Paul Kossoff (guitar)
Andy Fraser (bass)
Simon Kirk (drums)
Black Cat Bones
Bad Company
GFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
The Groundhogs1962 - by Pete and John Cruickshank, formally known as The Dollar BillsTony McPhee (guitar, vocals)
Pete Cruickshank (bass)
John Cruickshank (harp, vocals
Ken Pustelnick (drums)
1963-presentUS tours of:
John Lee Hooker
Champion Jack Dupree
Little Walter
Jimmy Read
HFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
Keef Hartley Band1968 - by Keef Hartley after being drummer with John Mayall & The BluesbreakersKeef Hartley (drums)
Ian Cruickshank (guitar)
Gary Thian (bass)
Peter Dines (keyboards)
Owen Finnegan (vocals)
1968-1972John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers
JFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
Jethro Tull1967 - by Ian Anderson, John Evan and Jeffrey Hammond, formally The John Evan BandIan Anderson (flute, guitar, vocals)
Jeffrey Hammond (bass)
John Evan (keyboards)
KFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
The Kinks1964 - by Ray and Dave Davies, formally The Ray Davies QuartetRay Davies (vocals)
Dave Davies (guitar, vocals)
Mick Avory (drums)
LFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
Love Sculpture1966 - by Dave Edmonds, John David and Rob Jones, formally The Human BeansDave Edmonds (guitar, vocals)
John David (bass)
Rob Jones (dums)
MFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
Manfred Mann1962 - by Manfred Mann and Mike Hugg (originally The Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers)Manfred Mann (keyboards)
Mike Hugg (drums, piano)
Paul Jones (vocals, harp)
Mike Vickers (saxophone, flute)
Dave Richmond (bass)
1962-1969Manfred Mann Chapter Three
Manfred Mann's Earth Band
The Blues Band
The Manfreds
McGuiness Flint
John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers1963 - by John MayallJohn Mayall (guitar, vocals)
Peter Ward (drums)
John McVie (bass)
Bernie Watson (guitar)
Note: over 100 musicians have played under The Bluesbreakers name - see link for details
Fleetwood Mac
The Yardbirds
The Rolling Stones
Zoot Money's Big Roll Band1961 - by Zoot MoneyZoot Money (vocals)
Roger Collins (guitar)
Al Kirtley (piano)
Mike Montrgomery (bass)
Johnny Hammond (drums)
Dantalian's Chariot
Blues Incorporated
Eric Burdon & The New Animals
British Blues Quintet
NFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
OFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
PFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
Pretty Things1963 - by Dick Taylor and Phil May, formally known as Little Boy Blue and the Blue BoysDick Taylor (guitar)
Phil May (vocals, harp)
John Stax (bass)
Brian Pendleton (guitar)
Pete Kitley (drums)
1963-presentThe Rolling Stones
RFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
The Rolling Stones1962 - by the initiative of Brian JonesMick Jagger (vocals)
Brian Jones (slide guitar)
Keith Richards (guitar)
Ian Stewart (keyboards)
Dick Taylor (guitar)
Tony Chapman (drums)
SFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
Savoy Brown1965 - by Kim Simmonds and John O'Leary, formally known as Savoy Brown Blues BandKim Simmonds (guitar, keyboards, harp, vocals)
John O'Leary (harp)
Bryce Portius (vocals)
Trevor Jeavons (keyboards)
Ray Chappell (bass)
Leo Manning (drums)
1966-presentFleetwood Mac
The Steampacket1965 - by Long John Baldry with Rod Stewart, Julie Driscoll and Brian AugerLong John Baldry (vocals)
Rod Stewart (vocals)
Julie Driscoll (vocals)
Brian Auger (organ)
Vic Briggs ( guitar)
Richard Brown (bass)
Micky Waller (drums)
Jeff Beck Group
TFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
Taste1966 - by the original band, formally known as The TasteRory Gallagher (guitar, vocals)
Norman Damery (drums)
Eric Kitteringham (bass)
Ten Years After1966 - by Alvin Lee and Leo Lyons, formally known as Ivan Jay and The JaymenAlvin Lee (guitar, vocals)
Leo Lyons (bass)
Chick Churchill (keyboards)
Ric Lee (drums)
Them1964 - by the original band, formally known as The GamblersVan Morrison (vocals, sax, harp)
Alan Henderson (bass)
Ronnie Milling (drums)
Billy Harrison (guitar, vocals)
Eric Wrixon (keyboards)
1964-1972The Doors
Tramp1969 - by Dave Kelly and Jo Ann KellyMick Fleetwood (drums
Bob Brunning (bass)
Danny Kirwan (guitar)
Dave Kelly (vocals)
Jo Ann Kelly (vocals)
Bob Hall (keyboards)
1969-1974Brunning-Hall Sunflower Blues Band
Fleetwood Mac
VFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
WFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
YFormationOriginal CompositionYears ActiveAssociated with
The Yardbirds1963 - by Keith Relf, formally known as The Metropolis Blues QuartetKeith Relf (guitar, vocals, harp)
Chris Dreja (guitar)
Anthony 'Top' Topham (guitar)
Paul Samwell-Smith (bass)
Jim McCarthy (drums)Also launching the careers of:
Eric Clapton
Jimmy Page
Jeff Beck
The Jeff Beck Group
Led Zeppelin
The Pretty ThingsUS tours of and recording with:
Sonny Boy Williamson II