Hard Times for the Blues

Paul Nunis thebluescaster@YAHOO.COM
Sun Jan 11 02:04:38 EST 2004

Several of the recent threads brought up some less than encouraging factors
in the US blues scene today, linked to blues venues being underattended and
even closing.
This certainly matches my observations on the matter.
Memphis could possibly be one of the worst places reflecting this trend, as
the city's politicians rush to cash in on hip hop and American Idol
corporate cashflow. There is even talk of the city charging a $600 annual
fee to local artists.
Pay for play has crept into the clubs, and media, to the extent that not
buying one of those paid ads/'News' pieces seems to guarantee no coverage
at all, while the tiny handful of venues that try to compete with Beale
Street's (Branson east) beer factories find themselves with no customers,
in spite of some very talented blues and other acts.
And the free download crowd, contrary to stated goals of helping fringe
musicians, have forced the major labels to slash new artist and niche
market budgets in favor of a death grip on the bottom line, i.e. the 'next
I also am prepared to point a finger at the museum keepers who want to kill
blues,and stuff it into a glass case so that it can be studied in a static
form, as is now the case with jazz.

Ah well,maybe we can get some good songs out of the hard times, before the
next blues revival rolls around.

Paul Nunis

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