28th IBC Results

Joel Fritz willie_mctell@COMCAST.NET
Wed Feb 8 20:14:46 EST 2012


I've played music locally, participated in the local IBC solo-duo
division this year, and reviewed CDs for my local blues society.  As I
pointed out above,  I'm the arbiter.  I mean my personal taste  defines
a lot of what I think is blues.  Because I came up on pre-WWII stuff it
took me a while to learn to appreciate people like B. B. King and T Bone
Walker.  I could see a thread linking people like the electric bands of
the '50s with country and urban blues artists from before WWII.  Among
others, B. B. King and Little Walter recorded tunes by Doctor Clayton.
Little Walter did a Washboard Sam song.  B. B. King covered Louis
Jordan's version of Casey Bill Weldon's "I'm Going to Move out on the
Outskirts of Town."  Huge numbers of people have covered St. Louis Jimmy
Oden's "Going Down Slow."  Mostly all sounds like blues to me.  A lot of
newer things don't, including stuff that's called blues.  I've given up
getting upset.  I like a lot of jazz but don't care much for Weather
Music.  I like classical music as long as it was written before 1825 or
so.  I like country music from before 1965 or so.  I like calypso from
the '30s.  Hmm...a pattern seems to be developing here. <g>

I'll continue to enjoy the blues I like.  I hope when I sing I can
convince others that that kind of music has a powerful emotional
appeal.  I wouldn't call a lot of what I hear described as blues blues,
but I've given up worrying about it.  I sincerely like Boll Weevil
Jackson.  Even though Frank Stokes was more of what I'd call a songster
or an entertainer, I like his blues numbers.  I think Tommy McClennan is
one of the most soulful vocalists ever to record.  Once you've heard one
of Ransom Knowling's tuba solos on a Doctor Clayton blues you'll be
awed.  I like some people who used amplifiers too.  Some of them are
even alive. <g>


Fritz Bros Tunes:  http://www.myspace.com/thefritzbrothers


On 2/8/2012 4:42 PM, David Carrigan wrote:
> As a blues deejay the last 15 years who's listened to thousands of tunes called blues and one who has attended scores of festivals Son Lewis expressed my feelings quite well!
> Thanx to Mr. Lewis.
> I would also echo another's comments about the importance of vocals.  Papajoe
>
>
>> From: Sonlewis1@AOL.COM
>> Subject: Re: 28th IBC Results
>> To: BLUES-L@LISTSERV.NETHELPS.COM
>>
>> About 20 years ago I read a book by John Gaspari called "I know it when I
>> see it".  The book was about folk's perception of  Quality and Gaspari's
>> point was that most folks couldn't define it by  it's presence but recognized
>> it by it's absence.  I think "the Blues" is  much the same.
>>
>> Rather than to continually bemoan the lack of "definition" and to get us to
>>   stop pussy-footing around using the word "authentic" as a synonym for
>> "African  American" or Black, I would like to cut to the chase...
>>
>> I believe what most folks really are concerned about is that the music,
>> under the guise of "evolution", is really losing context and connection with
>> the  fundamental structure of the music "formerly known as The Blues".
>> Musicians have morphed into playing other forms of music and we rationalize it
>> as "Blues" by deluding ourselves that it's "just the continual evolution of
>> the  music" when in reality it's a ploy to get and keep steady gigs in front
>> of new  and younger audiences.
>>
>> I have heard all the palaver about Muddy and Elmore and how they helped in
>> the evolution of Robert Johnson's music... and Howling Wolf and Charlie
>> Patton  and on and on...BUT I hear more of a symbiotic connection in the
>> eternal  structure of the music between Elmore and Johnson than I do between some
>> of  today's Funk/Soul/Rock artists and Elmore...
>>
>> Quite frankly, almost no one is playing any Blue SONGS anymore... and THAT
>> to me is where the disappointment lies!
>>
>> Back in 1996, when I participated in the IBC in Memphis the winning band
>> was Smiling Vic and The Soul Monkeys.  A very talented large band featuring
>> matching suits, a big horn section and a singer with a voice like Bailey's
>> Irish  Cream... but they didn't play any Blues songs.
>>
>> The last Pocono's Blues Festival I attended SHOULD have been renamed the
>> Pocono's R&B and Funk Festival.  The bands were absolutely wonderful...
>> talented, tight and smoking.... but there weren't that many Blues songs.
>>
>> A while back my harp player asked me to give a listen to a new Keb Mo CD
>> because he wanted us to learn one of the songs so he could sing it... It was
>> a  GREAT CD, fully of energy, artful guitar finger picking and very
>> impassioned  singing... but the CD didn't have any Blues songs on it...
>>
>> I am not advocating that we keep re-roasting the same old Blues
>> chestnuts... the world DOESN'T really need yet another version of Dust My  Broom...
>> but there is NO reason why new and modern artists can't attempt to  write
>> songs that actually sound (or are structured) like they are Blues  songs....
>>
>> and with that I will go back to bed....
>>
>>
>> Son  Lewis
>> Blues Vocalist/Guitarist
>> _www.sonlewis.com_ (http://www.sonlewis.com/)
>> _http://www.youtube.com/silkcitycd_ (http://www.youtube.com/silkcitycd)
>>
>>
>> In a message dated 2/8/2012 12:36:12 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
>> chuckone@SBCGLOBAL.NET writes:
>>
>> So would  I.  This "definition of blues" argument / discussion is older
>> than dirt,  and always ends up the same way - a mess of people angry and no
>> concise  definition.
>>
>> Every time I read or hear someone stating that  festival should go more out
>> of their way to hire "authentic" blues artists, I  am struck by two
>> immediate ideas:
>>
>> 1.  The person  maintaining this ideal is often somehow connected in some
>> way --  professionally, personally or both -- to someone they believe is an
>> "authentic" blues artist receiving the short end of the stick;  and
>>
>> 2.  How much harder it is each time to find "authentic" blues  artists.
>> 2011 was particularly devastating to that "authenticity"  as we lost a large
>> number of the last of those "authentic" bluesmen who, if  they were not
>> directly first-generation bluesmen, were at least old enough to  have been
>> personally connected in some way to that first generation.   Their greatest asset
>> (aside from the obvious talent they possessed)? They were  fortunate enough
>> to outlive their peers.
>>
>> And NO, Bonnie -- sons,  daughters, step-children, in-laws, and other
>> "relatives" of legendary deceased  bluesmen are not deserving of more recognition
>> or work just by virtue of  familial relationship, any more than I should be
>> placed in the same category  of photographer legend as Ernest Withers, Dick
>> Waterman, Ray Flerlage, Paul  Natkin or Jef Jaisun merely by virtue of the
>> fact that we have all had the  same KBA Award bestowed upon us.
>>
>> Talent wise, I don't deserve to  lick the bottom of their collective shoes.
>>
>>
>> I got whatever I got  because I worked my ass off for it and not
>> necessarily because I was   consistently good at it.  But  NOBODY gets it merely by
>> birthright.
>>
>> "Authenticity"....indeed.
>>
>> Chuck  Winans
>> Chicago, Illinois
>>
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>
>> On Feb 7, 2012,  at 9:55 PM, Ricky Stevens<deltabluz@HOTMAIL.COM>  wrote:
>>
>>>>   The whole IBC setup--especially the lack of definition of "blues"  in
>>>> contest rules, distracts and detracts from the promotion of the  true
>> sons
>>>> and daughters of the blues.
>>>   Bonni,
>>>
>>> I would love to see a clear, concise, unambiguous and  easily applied
>> definition that could be used as a rule to define blues at the  IBC.  Perhaps
>> you can supply one?
>>> Ricky Stevens
>>>
>>> Arkabutla, Mississippi
>>>
>>>> Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2012  17:30:11 -0600
>>>> From: bonni@BARRELHOUSEBONNI.COM
>>>>   Subject: 28th IBC Results
>>>> To:  BLUES-L@LISTSERV.NETHELPS.COM
>>>>
>>>> The fact is, there ARE  authentic heritage blues artists singing and
>>>> playing real blues.  There are at least 100 of them in Chicago and many
>>>> more in  Mississippi,Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, California, and around
>> this
>>>>   country.
>>>>
>>>> The whole IBC setup--especially the lack of  definition of "blues" in
>>>> contest rules, distracts and detracts  from the promotion of the true
>> sons
>>>> and daughters of the blues.  Just like the white DJs who refused to play
>>>> the music of black  artists in the 1950s (causing people like Sam
>> Phillips
>>>> to look for  an Elvis Presley to make hits for Sun Records) we have
>>>> promoters  in the so-called "blues" industry who favor imitators over
>>>> today's  great Black artists of my (baby boom) generation.  Bruce
>> Iglauer
>>>> was criticized for this in a petition signed by many of  these artists
>> and
>>>> their friends last year. But he is certainly not  the only one.
>>>>
>> http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/alligator-records-40th-anniversary/Content?oid=3834565
>>>> The sad thing is that these IBC competitions have become  showcases for
>>>> festival promoters who hire these bands, maybe as a  way to save money
>>>> instead of scouting out and hiring real blues  acts. Blues Foundation,
>>>> instead of putting so much energy into  these competitions and fostering
>>>> the creation of new bands, needs  to work on creating and educating new
>>>> blues FANS.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> PRAY FOR PEACE
>>>> WORK FOR  JUSTICE
>>>> BOOGIE FOR SURVIVAL
>>>>
>>>> Bonni  McKeown
>>>> www.barrelhousebonni.com
>>>>   773-209-4712
>>>>
>>>> Blues Music Reconnects  Generations!
>>>> www.chicagoschoolofblues.org
>>>>
>>>>   Autobiography of blues singer and drummer Larry Hill Taylor
>>>>   www.stepsonoftheblues.com
>>>>
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