1. Jimmy Witherspoon, Spoon's Best. "Unbelievably great singer coming out of the Kansas City blues-shouter tradition (think Joe Turner, Jimmy Rushing). Most thrilling phrasing I've ever heard."
2. Charlie Patton, Father of the Delta Blues. "The wellspring of Mississippi Blues and one of the all-time-greatest guitar-playing singer-entertainers. He taught Howlin' Wolf and many others how to play."
3. Blind Lemon Jefferson, Complete Chronological Recordings Vol. 1. "Probably the greatest of the rural country-blues singer-guitarists. Definitely the most influential. The singing, playing, phrasing, and repertoire are absolutely unparalleled."
4. B.B. King, Live at the Regal. "Truly B.B. at the height of his playing and singing powers, with a tremendously tight, dynamic band."
5. Bobby Blue Bland, Two Steps From the Blues. "Where blues meets soul, years before they called it that. The best backing band in the business, and a voice that's a gift from God. I have to concentrate hard on not crying when I hear this album."