Blues societies = blues nazis???

Walter Potter
Sun Nov 21 20:06:04 EST 2004

The reason I used the term "Blues Nazi" is that I heard it come out of the mouth of someone involved in a conflict with a blues society recently. In this case I think they meant that someone from the society was forcing their outlooks on others. The outlook wasn't about musical tastes but about business. They felt that some blues society members were using their positions in the society to affect their business.

I'm being purposefully vague about the circumstances because I don't want to name names or blow the situation out of proportion. It's a long, complicated story that's not worth telling on Blues-L. I'm more interested in ways to keep a society from getting "too big for it's britches." I am neither the person offended nor the offendor though I do know all the people involved on both sides.

-------------- Original message --------------

> In a message dated 11/21/2004 12:22:26 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> writes:
> How do you keep a blues society from turning into Blues Nazis? OK, that's a
> loaded question. Are there any suggestions of ways to keep some blues society
> members from over stepping on the toes of other blues activities in their
> area?
> I think by it's very nature a "society" brings people together that have
> diverse viewpoints on the Blues. If they are willing to "join in" to an
> aggregation of like minded people it means they are somewhat biased toward
> involvement. To me, that means they are likely to bring their diverse
> viewpoints into
> conflict with other diverse viewpoints. This has happened in virtually
> every Blues society that I have had experience with and it can possibly create
> conflict or interpersonal relationships or scheduling of events. I don't
> think there is any easy answer to your question... If you have scheduling
> conflicts on events then the folks involved need to be reminded that 1/2 a
> crowd is
> less successful than a full crowd... basic economics?
> If you have multiple societies like we do here in the NJ/NY area (United
> Jersey Blues Network, NY Jazz and Blues Foundation and Jersey Shore Jazz and
> Blues Foundation) then you have to have a meeting of the "don's" and agree how
> you can work in harmony to promote the music in the region to the maximum
> benefit. THIS is not easy due to territorial issues of "turf" and the
> tightness
> of membership money but UJBN and NYJBF sat down last week and agreed that we
> have to work together because we (and the Blues community at large) cannot
> afford the constant competition.
> To classify those in our community whose taste leans more toward traditional
> or classic forms of the music as "nazis" is rather unfair and certainly
> offensive to certain people. I myself tend toward more classic representations
> of
> the musical form (vs. the "new Blues" of SRV or the North Mississippi
> Allstars, etc.) and if I am strongly vocal about it then how am I different (or
> more rigid) than someone who thinks that Chris Thomas King, Fat Possum or NMA
> is the only way to for the music to move forward?
> Son Lewis
> Blues vocalist/guitarist
> _Silk City Recording Artist_ (
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