Blues or Rock Which is it?

Mon Jul 14 17:05:20 EDT 1997

>At what point does a blues tune become a rock and roll tune?
>I've heard alot of groups that call themselves blues bands, that sound alot
>more like Chuck Berry than Muddy Waters.  Please help me find the line.  You
>know,... they sound great but they just don't have that feel.


Please, don't look for a separating line.  When you're driving from state to
state, there's no *real* line, just the planted sign and the differing
surface of the road.  If you must, you might want to imagine a spectrum with
blues on one end and rock on the other.  That might help you to express what
you feel about a particular song or artist.  The only problem with that, is
that everyone's spectrum is made of different criteria and influences.  The
attempt to pidgeonhole music is fruitless, impossible and just unnecessary.
Hey, to use and further cloud your example, think of how often Chuck Berry
sounds like a white country artist.  Also, try some Jimmie Rodgers and Hank
Williams Sr.

I've plugged this book before and I'll plug it again.  For a wonderful
discussion of this subject, try Bill Malone's _Southern Music, American
Music_.  I understand that it's no longer in print, so try your local
library or book/music loving friend.

Scott McCraw
Center for the Study of Southern Culture
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677

Phone: 601-232-5993  Fax: 601-232-5814   E-mail:

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