Imitation Blues

Mike Curtis ironman@MOONLINK.NET
Sat Jun 27 23:46:15 EDT 1998

>>It seems to be the other way around doesn't it--it is you who are
>>arguing for exclusion--while we (the Y's) are saying "hey, include us
>Why are you so defensive? Why are you so sure that you're a "Y"? Did somebody
>tell you that you were? I've never heard your music (I don't even know if you
>play). Somehow you seem to recognize for yourself that "Y" is not the same as
>"X". That's really the gist of the argument. You've just capitulated.

Well, look at the subject:  Imitation blues.

Then look at the argument - AND the HISTORY of those making said

It doesn't take much of an Einstein to figure it out, despite the X and
Y junk, especially in view of the time frame mentioned.  Despite the
faux-clever psuedomath, it's still quite obvious that the argument is
that only one of these is "the real thing".

NOW - if we say that X (old blues) is the only real _OLD_BLUES_, you
won't get an argument.

But the Blues "purists" don't say this.  They repeatedly keep trying to
cram the same old stuff down everyones throats:  The only REAL blues is
the OLD blues.

It is stated this way on this list almost daily.  And stated with
sufficient force and fanatical dogma that most of the folks on the list
are fearful to say that it's all just a bunch of baloney.  They just
laugh at them behind their backs.  And when they get tired of it, they

If we like old blues, fine.  No one has a quarrel with that.  But old
blues is NOT a monopoly on the entire genre.  And none of us on the list
have this decision to make.  The music business and fans at large make
this determination.  There is NEW blues, and whether we like it or not,
it is just as much blues as the old stuff.

And in some cases MORE so.

See if I don't have some valid points here, if we can all be perfectly
honest, logical, and just look at the facts without emotion:

T-Bone Walker was jazz - bluesy jazz to be sure, but definitely stronger
in the jazz genre than in blues.  The vocals are jazz, and the guitar is
nothing more nor less than slow jazz guitar.  Yet the purists never
question this, because he's "old blues".  But watch 'em take off on
Robben Ford - for EXACTLY the SAME reasons!  The only difference is,
Robben was born after 1920!

Lemon Jefferson was plain old-style country music, not blues.  Bluesy,
sure; but not really classic blues.

Robert Johnson - let's try folk singer and see how that shoe fits.

Jesse Fuller?  Another folk singer.  Not blues at all.

BTW I happen to really like each of these artists, but as long as we're
picking nits about what is "imitation blues", these guys actually belong
in other genres.  Maybe their music contributed to the eventual
formation of early blues, but it just doesn't quite make it as pure
blues, does it?

Now - before you all send me your hate mail:

How does it feel to be on the receiving end of unreasonable and
illogical criticism, name calling, and taking accreditation away from
artists YOU like?

It's not nice, is it?

If you like only Delta Blues from 1933, that's cool.  But to say that it
is the only _R_E_A_L_ blues is ludicrous.

So if X is "old blues" fine - I pretty much agree that the old stuff is
the old stuff and different even from the old stuff being recreated
today.  But if it's "blues" (as in "real blues" and "imitation blues"),
then it's an opinion that is held primarily by a very few
ultraconservatives who are out of step withg the contemporary world, and
who would apparently put blues into a sterile, humidity controlled
museum, not so much for enjoyment, but because it's old.

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

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