Imitation Blues

Mike Curtis ironman@MOONLINK.NET
Sat Jun 27 02:06:07 EDT 1998

> <"Purist" vs "liberal">

The way I see it, the two "Camps" are somewhat like old car enthusiasts:

1. Those who view the blues like an antique car, to be protected
and       preserved at any and all costs, and;
2. Those who view the blues like a hot rodder, as a shell to be
modified    and souped up into something modern, and HOT.

I love to see antique cars.  But I also love the hot rods the guys made
back in the 50's and 60's from old Model T car bodies.  Of course, both
are antiques these days :-)  There are some great custom cars these
days, too, usually made from old cars.

It's great that we still have the old, traditional blues.  AND it's
great that we have hot rodded modern blues, too.  Contrary to what some
assert as fact, we can have both :-)  And of course we DO have both.
Old blues, modern blues, modern traditionalist blues, blues rock, jazz
blues, and so forth. There's no inherent conflict.  If you like one but
not the others, well good for you.  And if you like 'em all, great too!

The folks playing modern blues are actually following in the tradition
of the old blues guys, in the sense that they're contemporary with their
time.  Muddy, Charlie, Lemon, et al, didn't play "old time blues" when
they played.  Their music was contemporary, new, fresh, and enjoyed by
the youngsters of their time.

It was oftentimes raw, too, as is the case with many innovators.  A lot
of folks who aren't good enough to copy find it necessary to innovate.
Grunge and punk are two perfect examples of this.  As better musicians
become proficient at the newly popular styles, the original "rawness" is
hewn away and the style is refined.  A lot of folks prefer this - and
some folks like the original old stuff.

But which one is "better"?

The one YOU like, of course :-)

Listening to Wynonie Harris.  I'm sure all the musical conservationists
back in the 40's and 50's just loved his stuff, eh.

"Wynonie Harris, indeed.  This stuff is not music.  It's absolute filth
and trash.  Anyone who likes this bilge is a filthy, dirty degenerate
and pervert, and should be tarred and feathered (they never mentioned
"anus" in public back then ;-) But Steven Foster, now THAT is MUSIC!"

IronMan Mike Curtis     The One Man Blues/Jazz Band
CD Available @ Tower,, others
Sound bytes etc. at

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