It goes without saying that the blues were a huge part of guitar-based rock and roll, so it's no wonder that powerhouses like Jimi Hendrix, Peter Green and Eric Clapton had their roots there. But, playing in bands with heavy bass tones and more ferocious drumming, they boldly explored improvisational spaces in a way that the old school blues masters never had. Simultaneously, drugs were changing the way music was made and experienced, and groups would often try to replicate that trippiness in the notes they were playing, often by using feedback, distortion and other sound effects allowed by amplification.
During a recording of Traffic available in the Vault (4.30.70, Paris Theatre), the announcer John Peel says following a performance of "Pearly Queen" that "If you are a guitarist and you think you got to go on playing those same old blues riffs at ear-shattering volume in order to make it, you don't." It's hard to disagree - you certainly don't NEED to play those riffs to be successful but, as this playlist demonstrates, you sure could kick some ass with those riffs and a little bit of fearlessness.