Purists

Joe McGaha bookings@bourbonroad.com
Fri May 2 11:09:58 EDT 2008


Well put, Walter! There are so many "purists" in Southern California (we call them blues nazis), who have no interest in anything that doesn't sound exactly like blues that they have already heard. There are those who say "if it's not Delta blues, it's not blues", or "if it's not Chicago blues, it's not blues". None of us live in a vacuum -- we hear all of the other types of music going on in our multi-cultural society, and it's ridiculous to think that it wouldn't influence us. I think Jazz and Rock have had more of an opportunity to evolve than the blues. It's important to know our past, but it's equally important to express our own experiences through the music.

"Cleanhead" Joe McGaha

Bourbon Road

http://www.bourbonroad.com

http://www.myspace.com/bourbonroad
-----Original Message-----
From: Walter Potter [mailto:maxdog-blues-l@COMCAST.NET]
Sent: Friday, May 2, 2008 09:48 AM
To: BLUES-L@LISTS.NETSPACE.ORG
Subject: Re: Purists

My thought is how can someone be a "purist" about something that isn't really pure itself? The blues as a genre certainly has its influences, from African music to popular music of the day to gospel and jazz (which came first, blues or jazz?), even some country. The "blues" is a mutt to begin with that became a breed. At the same time I personally hate to see so much added to or exaggerated in the mix that is the blues that it actually becomes something else, like rock, yet still be called the blues. Nothing wrong with rock, its just a mix of blues and other forms of music that is different enough that it deserves its own label. The boundaries are fuzzy. You might walk from Mississippi to Arizona and one step might look like the next but at some point you are in the Delta and another you are in the desert. Some folks are selling rock as blues because they are on the same continuum when they can be as different as Delta and desert. Its a matter of degrees and perception and t astes but also of reality. But what we really should be asking is "Is the music good? Does it suit MY tastes?" These are "Walter's Jumbled Thoughts" for the day. BTW, anyone seen the lineup for the Ottawa Blues Festival? Lots of good music and lots of it nowhere near the blues. -- Walter -------------- Original message ---------------------- From: Ron Weinstock > Reading the thread, including talking about Sean Costello, I am getting annoyed > by the term 'purist' > as it seems a straw man but does not seem to really say anything. A few > observations. > > Blues is increasingly a marketing category which bears less relationship to the > music of Blind Willie > McTell, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, Esther Phillips, B.B. King, Big Maybelle, > Lightning Hopkins, and > Bobby Bland. A lot of 'blues' music today is bluesy as opposed to blues and its > a critical plus to some > bozos in the media that the music doesn't sound like 'blues.' Many want to hear > blues that sounds > like 70s rock or folk. > > Want to talk about racism, well 'some' of those complaining about purists > dismiss soul-blues as not > blues (and look at the Penguin Guide of the Blues and there was an exchange on > the post-war blues > list that is illuminating). > > BTW, the label 'blues' ultimately says nothing about whether the music is any > good and if a 'blues' > performer goes somewhere beyond blues certainly that is fine. > > And having listened to Sean Costello's last recording, I can say, even a purist > can enjoy it. :p Blues-L web site: http://www.netspace.org/~blues-l/ Archives & web interface: http://lists.netspace.org/archives/blues-l.html NetSpace LISTSERV(R) software donated by L-Soft, Inc. http://www.lsoft.com To unsubscribe from BLUES-L, send an email with the message UNSUBSCRIBE BLUES-L to: listserv@lists.netspace.org 

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