I hope you are staying safe and healthy during these crazy times after a virus has turned the whole world upside down. You might even be feeling a little bit blue. I know I have felt that way more than once! Before this coronavirus unleashed itself on the world I was already getting blue……into blues music that is, so the timing of this world situation is ironic. Anyway, I’ve found blues music to both acknowledge pain and misfortune, but also bring hope and joy.
The blues has always fascinated, captivated and resonated with me. My friend Michael, when hearing me say that told me, “Well, yeah, it’s just good music.” That’s definitely true. It’s got groove, feeling and truth. And in spite of it being “blue” I think there is a happiness and sense of hope that is entwined with the blues.
I grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana and spent a significant amount of time visiting relatives in Chicago, one of America’s blues powerhouse cities. Fort Wayne is also not far from Detroit, the home of much awesome R&B music put out by Motown. So I was steeped in this wonderful sonic brew by virtue of just being there.
I think the blues touches something in all of us, no matter our ethnic or economic background. Everyone goes through trials and tribulations, hope and disappointment of one form or another. And to me, the blues is one way of dealing with that and connecting it to something universal – music – as a way to work through it in a therapeutic way, even if you don’t realize it. Music is therapeutic. But besides all of that, it’s just plain fun.
And recently, because of my ongoing attraction to the blues, and a desire to learn more deeply about some of the primary blues artists, and needing to start somewhere since there are so many artists and styles I decided to begin with “the kings”….BB, Albert and Freddie. I’m also a big, big fan of Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan and I knew that the kings were big influences on EC and SRV.
Having said all of that, stay tuned for more as I venture down this blue highway!
Don’t forget to wash your hands!