Big Walter

Geir Oien
Tue Jul 22 09:23:42 EDT 1997

> > It is your interest in and knowledge of *blues* which should decide
> > how much weight your opinion have (has) in this forum...
>  Eric Clapton has a lot of interest in and knowledge of the blues.
>  Therefore using your criteria his opinion should carry a lot of
> weight.

Opinions differ even between experts - and I have not said that
Clapton's opinion does not carry weight. However, to *my* mind Willie
Dixon's carry more (and I am sure Clapton would agree), when it comes to
Chicago blues. But this is not a main point - I disagree with Clapton
when he says it (and I am still not sure if the quote is word-by-word
correct, it sounds very little like the Clapton quotes I've read when he
talks about blues), and I would have disagreed with Dixon had *he* said
it. Or Madonna. My own ears is all I need to tell me Walter is a great.

The main point here, however, is that *some people might ignore Big
Walter's music* because of reading that he "had very little facility",
especially when Clapton's name is used to drive such a point home. This
would be tragic, as they would miss some of the greatest, most original,
feelingful and powerful harp poetry ever committed to wax/tape, they
would miss one of the acknowledged inspirators and inventors of modern
blues harp. Is this what we want blues-l to be about? This is far, far
more important than who has the correct viewpoint of his "technical
ability" - whatever that means. To my unschooled ears what Walter does
sounds pretty technically advanced, but I couldn't care less if he
achieved those same effects with simple means, because they sound
wonderful, and no one else plays like that (which is strange, if it is
tecnically simple to produce such exciting sounds). Maybe we can agree
on that - i.e. that the greatest blues is not necessarily equal to the
technically most advanced or proficient blues?

Cheers, Geir.

More information about the Blues-l mailing list