I've never dealt directly with the blues in this post. With so many musical sub-genres now, we forget what was gospel to artists a generation ago: rock, funk, and much jazz has a blues base. On More Exciting Moments, Frank O'Toole played "Rollin' and Tumblin'" performed by Muddy Waters. This rough, twelve bar Chicago style is what 1960s bands, like The Rolling Stones and Cream, based their music on.
Frank played another Chicago innovator, Howlin' Wolf. On 1969's "Who's Been Talkin'" from the London Sessions, the master recorded with Eric Clapton, Bill Wyman, Steve Winwood, and many other of his British students. Wolf proves the simplest blues changes will work in any style, in this case, Latin.
Al Kooper applied brass to a sophisticated blues style. Listen to him in Blood Sweat And Tears singing "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" played by Irwin. On Zzzzzzero Hour, Bill Mac played a Captain Beefheart take on the genre "Diddy Wha Diddy." Funkadelic's "Maggot Brain", played by Sue P. on Solid Gold Hell, is not blues in the strict sense. But the far more important emotional essence of the music is viscerally evident.
In jazz, musicians often spice the traditional blues I IV V chord progression. Listen to Steve Krinsky playing "Blue Monk" by Thelonious Monk. Hear how many chords Monk weaves through, still maintaining a blues structure. Other times, such as on Miles Davis' "Blue In Green," played by Irwin, the chords are basic--even if substitutions are added--and the simple foundation launches brilliant soloing.
In 2011, many 15-year-olds with guitars don't understand who the Beatles were, much less rock's blues fatherhood. But dig through some of the WFMU archives: there is plenty of pure blues and blues-derived music. If you'd like to learn more about blues, start with this article.