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This year, the 10 best blues albums feature many younger artists who play original music; their work is rooted in the blues but headed somewhere else. Some purists may be put off, but this is a fascinating moment, in which the music is evolving right in front of us. It's also a demonstration of how deeply blues has become embedded in our culture.
John Kessler is host of All Blues on KPLU. Click here for more entries in our Best Music of 2009 series.