What is the Blues??

Rich Gonzalez rgonzale@soleil.acomp.usf.edu
Mon Mar 20 07:10:22 EST 2000

 Roy Rezabek wrote:

> I love the quotes Rich...


> >``I can play country blues. I can play rock 'n' roll blues. You got to
> >keep up with what's going on. It's easy when you know how to do it.''

> >
> >Dave Myers:

> >"It's ALL blues, dammit, and the reason it ain't popular as other
> >music is because stupid idiots categorize it so they can figure it out
> >in their own stinkin' little minds. Lookit -- there's country blues,
> >Delta blues, acoustic blues, electric blues, white blues, black blues,
> >Piedmont blues, Chicago blues, Texas blues, California blues, New York
> >blues, British blues, young blues, old blues, teenage blues, new
> >blues, not-so-new blues, classic blues, good blues, shitty blues --
> >it's ALL blues.  Quit pickin' it apart and maybe it'll get popular."

> I love another quote by a Rock and Roll musican (A rocker I'm not that fond
> of).  But his statement is still worth repeating ...... "Keith Richard"
> said..... "You know, there is only one song and Adam probably sang it to
> Eve.... The rest of the songs are just variations of that first song"
> My guess is that first song most probably was a Blues song when they got
> thrown out of the Garden of Eden.  Talk about good times lost??.

Most likely it was "Sweet Home Chicago" or "Stormy Monday" ...which is
what got actually them booted ---God was tired of those tunes
already... :-)

> ...... When I opened up my mind to what makes up the Blues..... or
> what can  define it.... It very big and can be scary to some people.
> But I feel don't  feel limited to what It can be or be intimidated
> by it's vastness.

> I hope I'm not upsetting the apple cart....just hope to make it bigger.

Seems OK. Most folks would agree that the "narrow focus" look at blues
is too constraining. Agreement with your sentiments can easily be see
in in actual behavior; by musicians out there in the performance
space, and by fans in the buying space. By far, most folks are not
being so "narrow-focused" as some at the...ahem...more traditionalist
end of the blues spectrum.

I am just saddened that a guy like Dave Myers has to be a little
bitter about opportunities lost due to unnecessary categorizing
efforts which restrict the genre. And restrict his livelihood.
He speaks for a lot of the old-timers, I suspect.

As far as bing more open about what blues is, don't forget--

the world's most popular and recognizable blues song recording

--has strings on it.

Hardly traditional, but it's done just fine.

Rich G.

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