Its been a long time since blues music was considered mainstream. The music industry looks like it’s on a blues kick. Ever since the arrival of the Black Keys, hipster radio and trendy genres came under the alternative/rock umbrella. They focused on the early blues roots of rock, opting for a thicker, unrefined sound.
For example, Gary Clarke Jr. accomplished a sound that is similar to that of Jimi Hendrix. Not so much so that it does not sound original, though (and he can actual sing). Benjamin Booker is in the same court. This from a smaller scale–meaning less popular, not less talented. Dan Auerbach, the singer and guitar player of the Black Keys, has a fairly new group called The Arcs. They took a fresh new take on what is now called “the blues”.
The thing that these groups have in common is that they flaunt their influences without sounding like phony cover bands. Not only is it refreshing to hear a new direction in contemporary music, but it really gives us hope. Hope that the roots music (blues, soul, rock, R&B) has a future in pop culture.