Sounding White (was John Hammond)

Mike Curtis ironman@MOONLINK.NET
Wed Dec 9 12:17:53 EST 1998

> P.W. wrote:
> >Who is B.B. emulating when he sings?  He doesn't sound
> >like anyone but B.B. He has the same accent when he
> >speaks as when he sings.
> At certain times I think I can hear some Doctor Clayton.
> And of course, we all realize that in the early days
> Lucille was singing the ideas of Bone, Lemon, and
> Lonnie... to which he eventually added his own signature style.

No one grows up in a vacuum.  Everyone has influences.  The fact
that we grow beyond them and into our own music is great, but the
influences are still there.

> >Trying to sing like you are someone else is patently
> >false.  I am not a toothless, uneducated rural Black
> >man, why would it be appropriate for me to sound like
> >one?  Especially when there are recordings of THE REAL
> >THING. Why would anyone want an IMITATION?

> I guess this a question you'll have to ponder and  answer for
> yourself when, and if, your BLUES BAND ever decide to release
> a CD.

Not all bluesmen are illiterate and toothless.  And even of those
who are, how many copy one another?  One of the refreshing
things about the old, toothless, illiterate bluesmen is that they're

> Are the songs that you recently sent (mentioning that you would like to
> see them covered) to some list members BLUES? Would you also ask why
> anyone would want to record a BLUES tune that was written by an educated,
> mouth full-of-teeth, white man...when there ARE plenty of great tunes
> written by "THE REAL THING."

This would eliminate a lot of great music.  Robben Ford has written
some absolutely killer blues - and he doesn't try to sound like
anything except what he is.

To each their own, but for me, I play songs I can relate to, and
perform them my way.  And I have my teeth and an education :-)

IronMan Mike Curtis the one man blues/jazz band Reviews, cuts from IronMans CD Tu 8p Sa 4p Su 2p Starboard
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