28th IBC Results

stan billings sbillingssbillings@GMAIL.COM
Wed Feb 8 14:19:13 EST 2012


Being a long time occasional lurker of this list, I have seen this issue
come up often.
For me personally, blues does have something that really grabs me, and that
really grabs a lot of people.  I listen to all types of music, but nothing
grabs me like the blues.

Now why doesn't much of the newer blues grab me, and so many other people?
 In my opinion there are 2 reasons.

One is blues once was so reliant on strong vocals.  I love the strong
vocals,son house, skip james, howling wolf, muddy.  Good vocals are one of
the main things lacking in much of the blues today.   The people now that I
like, tab benoit, delbet mclinton, john mooney, all have a unique voice. I
also like many of the women  playing today, since i guess they do not loose
by comparison.

Two, original music is so hard to do well.  Most original music is not very
good. 99% of it will not be being played in 50 years.  Muddy will still be
being played in 50 years. I have no problems with somebody putting there
own touch to an old blues song.  But much of the new stuff is just not well
written, is not memorable,  and is just not that good.  The same can
probably be said of any kind of music.  It is very hard to write a good
song.   Take someone like Delbert Mclinton, he is one of the better new
people in my opinion, although i guess he is not that new.  He has probably
20 albums out, and possibly 40 good songs.   Enough for a good show.  Most
of the songs on most of his albums are not that good.  How can a new group
with one or two albums out, have enough good new material to entertain for
a whole show.   Even if you like say rap, probably only 5% of the rap being
written today makes money and will be considered good rap in the future.
Most original music is not going to stand the test of time and be
considered good.

I would rather listen to a band with a decent singer play old blues,
perhaps putting there own spin to it, and maby throwing in a few of there
better originals than a band with a terrible vocalist, playing a bunch of
uninspired original stuff, and trying to make up for there lack with loud
guitars. Now I am glad to listen if you happen to have some real good
original music, but I just do not here that very often.

Stan




On Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 12:16 PM, Gregory Johnson <slimlively@hotmail.com>wrote:

> I once posed this question to the late Paul deLay back in 2001 and I felt
> his response was perfect and could apply here.   The style of music that
> you play has often been questioned by the so-called "Blues Purists." How do
> you vision yourself?Paul deLay:   Well, I could see where people with less
> imagination could feel threatened. I think that as far as "Blues Purists"
> go, they fail to realize that if you’re going to play real Blues you need
> to do it out of your own experience. And hopefully in your own way, with
> your own style. I’ve actually had people complain about my albums because
> they think I should be doing Muddy Waters, which of course I’ve always done
> and enjoy doing. But if you’re playing Blues, are you supposed to be doing
> what you’re feeling or what somebody else did thirty, forty years ago?
> Let’s get real here. I can appreciate both the arranged and the traditional
> guys like those in Chicago. I thoroughly enjoy doing things with both of
> them and would like to continue to record both traditional and more
> inventive material. They both have their problems. It’s fun to just put
> down exactly what you’re playing at the moment, but it’s also a great deal
> of fun if you really care about a special kind of writing to arrange a
> song. It’s another perfectly legitimate way of presenting a piece of music.
>  Greg Johnson President, Cascade Blues AssociationPortland, Oregon  >
> Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2012 11:16:43 -0500
> > From: louisx@MYFAIRPOINT.NET
> > Subject: Re: 28th IBC Results
> > To: BLUES-L@LISTSERV.NETHELPS.COM
> >
> > As we move into a generation that never saw the original blues artists,
> the
> > ability to recognize "that thing" when you hear it get's progressively
> > thinner.  But, for example,  I think if you go to a Paul Oscher show
> you'll
> > know you are seeing something deeper than much of the other stuff out
> there.
> > Gary Clark Jr. is a young guy who displays some of that deeper sound even
> > though he's taken it somewhere else.  I really like Missy Andersen and
> Danny
> > Brooks because they have that deep feeling.  You hear it in the voice.
> > Unfortunately many people judge blues by the instrumental flash of the
> > player.  But what grabs me and grabbed me about the blues was the vocal
> > quality and phrasing of the singer and the instruments.  It doesn't have
> to
> > be I , IV, V, but if the voices and instruments don't talk to each other,
> > but instead shout at me, I'm not moved. Because to me, that's not the
> blues.
> >
>
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