Was: IBC winner disqualified,,,Now: Future of the Blues

Chas Winans chuckone@sbcglobal.net
Thu Mar 3 09:56:36 EST 2005


I'm not convinced that there is a concrete method -- past, present or future -- that will ever "win over" people and get them to become blues fans.  That's not that way I came to the music, and I'll be willing to wager it's not how most people over the past 30 years have come to it.

Like many of the most rabid fans of the blues, I came to it quite by accident, and it grew on me like a comfortable pair of jeans.  There was no "light bulb" moment, there was no epiphany.  There was no moment during which God smote the ground with a bolt of lightning and said "Follow the blues, for it is good", and then left me there in a cloud of dust.

Robert Johnson was not the Messiah of the blues, his murderer is not a Judas and his apostles do not count the likes of Son House, John Hurt, Skip James or Booker White.

Most of the wonderful things in my life (including blues, photography and my wife) were stumbled upon by accident.

Blues societies, in my opinion, form a great service to their local communities simply by making the music available to those who want it, and for those who eventually stumble upon it as I did -- by accident.

We don't need to purposesly push unsuspecting people to the ground with blues music.  Nor do we need (or even want) to drag anyone kicking and screaming into it with the idea that "If you just experience it once, you'll love it like I do".   If we leave it there for everyone to trip over, some will walk around it while others will trip over it all by themselves, without any further help from us.

As much as some of us might want it to be so, not everyone is going to love, or even like, blues music.  It's not unlike unfamiliar foods.  Ever eat snails?  Some people love 'em, some don't.  Still others will claim to hate 'em when they haven't tried 'em.  For those folks, put the snails out there to be tried and, soon enough, more people will try 'em.  That still doesn't mean everyone will like 'em.

On another completely different subject, here's my blues moment of the week.

On Tuesday, my DSL connection ceased working.  It was a problem in the line, so I needed to get a repair guy from SBC to put in a new splitter line on the inside jack leading to my DSL modem.  After several missed attempts over 24 hours, the repair guy finally shows up at my house at about 7:30 Wednesday night and, after putzing around, gets the thing going.

At some point during general conversation, he's looking around my office and sees all the blues photography.  Turns out my SBC repair guy is the nephew of the late Tyrone Davis.

Tyrone Davis' nephew showing up to repair my DSL connection is a similar experience to how I came by blues music.  Accident, or odd twist of fate.  It was there, I found it or it found me.

Chuck Winans, President
Portraits In Performance Photography, Inc.
Chicago, Illinois
www.pipphotography.com




>
> I may have brought this up before, but perhaps we should have two
> categories, the Blues Preservation Societies for those who like their
> blues
> nice and dead, and sacred, and unchanging...
> and then some Blues Appreciation Societies, for those who like their blues
> alive and kicking...and partying out with rock stars.
>

I think that in order to keep the Blues Alive,,,we are going to have to make
it more appealing.
Now,,,,I'm not saying we Bastardize or Butcher it.
But rather,,,,,Bring it to the Masses with a fresh approach.

For instance,,,,,
I live in West Virginia (see Bluegrass)
every time I pull out one of My National Resonators in public,,I get one of
two comments,,,,,,

A- "Where'd ya get that Dobro?"
followed by,,,,,,"So,You play Bluegrass,,huh?"

or

B- "I ain't never seen one of them before"
"You gonna play some Bluegrass for us?"

Arrrrrrrrrgh!!!!!!

I often spend a few minutes explaining about a Genre of Music that the
Listener has never heard of (Blues) and often times they can't differentiate
between it and Blowgrass (not a typo)


How frustrated do you think I get?

Also,,,,a Blues Festival in NC that is put on by the Piedmont Blues
Preservation Society justy announced their L:ineup for this years Fest.

They're having 4 different Bands,,,
It use to be a pretty big Fest.
Evidently things have changed since I lived in Greensboro back in the early
90's..

All of us need to do some serious Brain-storming and come up with new ways
to present the Blues to an Audience that doesn't want to hear scratchy old
78's or
10 different versions of the same old Blues Standards.

If we don't move forward,,,,we'll wither and rot right where we stand.

I for one,,,am not going out like that.

That's why I strive to keep my Blues "Upbeat" and "catchy" so I can lure in
the otherwise "Non-Blues" fans.

and then punch them in the gut with an old Robert Johnson tune when they
least expect it,,,,LOL !!!




Grady Musick
~~~~~~~~~
www.gradymusick.com

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