The Blues part 3 - aka the Bobby Rush Show

Fred Dabney fdabney@nmsu.edu
Wed Oct 1 11:13:22 EDT 2003


> Where I come from Bobby Rush is the style of blues I hear and play all the
> time.

Something I keep saying, and it's a waste of breath, I guess.

The "Blues" to me may not be the same thing as the "Blues"
to you.  And what we agree on being "Blues" may not be
"Blues" to some third person, and so on and so forth.

Many times folk here say that the blues is dead in the
black community, only to have someone cite places
where the black audience is strong and enthusiastic.
Then someone says, well yes, but that's not "really
Blues, it's Soul" or what ever.  And if you asked any
of that "Soul" audience, they'd say what they liked
was blues and what we like is something else.

Bobby Rush is in the same line of descent as folk like
Bessie Smith and others who packed the Harlem theaters
and other black venues from the twenties to the present
day.  This idea that blues can only be some man playing
a guitar is utter nonsense, always has been, always will
be.

What's funny is on the one hand we have the stereotype
that blues can only be played and sung by black folk,
yet the same people who hold that stereotype refuse to
accept what those same black folk say is the blues.

Fred D.

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