Photograph: Misha Vladimirskiy/Filterless
Jack White didn’t invent garage-blues, yet more than any other modern rocker the ornery dude has helped transform it from an underground phenomenon into a mainstream one. (And yes, The Black Keys certainly deserve major props, too.) There are now a wealth of high-profile musicians soaking bluesy, beastly jams in demonic layers of fuzz and echo-soaked string-bending. In addition to guitar-hero-in-the-making Gary Clark Jr. and, of course, the mighty Alabama Shakes, there’s the British outfit Royal Blood, as well as Deap Vally, a female two-piece from L.A. that turn all their angst into jackhammering, hip-swaggering, fist-pumping awesomeness. Our playlist also spotlights cuts from those artists in the 1980s and ’90s who were pioneers in the folding of rowdy garage-punk into the earthy mysteriousness that reaches all the way back to the Mississippi Delta. The blues, after all, are about tradition.