white people and the blues/Max content

ruth Vadi ruth_vadi@HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jul 15 10:45:10 EDT 1997


>Last week Scott Anslie, a _very_gifted white guitarist and singer of
the
>blues based in Durham ,NC (he actually notated _all_of Robert Johnson's
songs
>and is a historical expert) said something that I want to share:
>
>He said, "I am often asked why as a 'white boy' I chose to play the
blues?"
> Then after a short moment he responded with, "what makes you think I
*had* a
>choice..."
>
Hi Lea,
I studied guitar with Scott Ainslie for a while and he is not only a
gifted musician but a brilliant scholar and historian.  I get asked why
as a "white girl" or just as "a girl" I chose to go into blues.
What a lot of people don't understand is that just because we are white
doesn't mean we weren't exposed to "black" music at a young age.
My mother is a singer, and I grew up hearing her sing Billie Holiday,
Lena Horne, Dinah Washington and Ella Fitzgerald songs.  When I was
growing up my mother's best friend was a gospel singer, Karen Wiggs
Collins (who I understand went on to perform on Broadway).  Karen has a
glorious voice and some of my earliest memories are of Karen and my
mother singing spirituals together.  So I learned to love blues as well
as jazz at a very young age.  In addition, every musician has a
different style, and blues just suits some musicians' styles better.
When I listen to my husband's tapes from 25 years ago I hear blues
oozing out even though what they were doing sounded like heavy-metal
Yes.  That's just Max's natural style.  Scott Ainslie might also say he
didn't choose blues -- blues chose him!


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