The blues are one of seminal forms of world music. Descended directly from the fusion of African and European musical trends, the blues took the instruments of classical culture and stripped them down to their barest essentials. The guitar became the primary instrument of expression, especially when accompanied by the human voice. It is a storytelling type of music, and the essential themes of the blues are universal; good times and a woman gone bad.
The folk techniques of blues music underpin all of country and western music. The basic song patterns of Read the rest of this entry »
What Kinds Of Music Inspired The Blues?
Who Influenced The Electric Blues Artists of The ’60s?
The electric blues artists emerged from Chicago in the early 1960s. These artists were Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Howlin’ Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson. However, Delta blues musicians like Son House and Robert Johnson influenced all of these artists. Other traditional or acoustic blues musicians included Blind Lemon Jefferson, Tommy Johnson, Charlie Patton and Blind Willie McTell. These traditional blues artists had a wide range of influences.
Many people believe that the blues style of music developed early in the 20th century around the time that sheet music for Hart A. Wand’s “Dallas Blues” was first published. Although this occurred in 1912 and was the first first official publication of a blues song, this does not denote the creation of the blues. In fact, the roots of the blues go much deeper and are much more difficult to uncover.
The beginnings of the blues can Read the rest of this entry »
Many people know the legend of Robert Johnson and his midnight liaison with the devil. In the legend, young Robert Johnson lived on a plantation in the Mississippi wilderness where he was possessed with the overwhelming urge to become a blues legend. However, in order to do this, he needed to make a sacrifice and that involved making a deal with the devil. So, as the story goes, young Robert took his guitar to the crossroads near Dockery Plantation at midnight where he met the devil who tuned his guitar. From that day on Robert possessed unparalleled mastery of the guitar and all for the price of one soul.
Few people actually believe this legend and the story is more of testament to Robert’s prowess than it is a literal interpretation of his skill. In a genre appealing to all the woes of our everyday lives – car troubles, divorce, death, loss, even having to seek help from places like www.debtcounseling.bankrupt.com – Robert Johnson was the original delta blues legend whose seeming supernatural mastery of the guitar was what paved the way for other artists to come. The truth is that Robert Johnson didn’t make a deal with the devil; rather, he was God’s gift to the blues genre.
I love blues music by today’s female singers. Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin Queen of Soul, and my favorite blues song of Tina and Ike Turner’s Proud Mary. I always thought this song was wrote by Tina or Ike but I found out that the lyrics were actually written by John Fogerty of Credence Clear water in 1969.
The lyrics are about working in Memphis as a washer woman but then going to New Orleans on a riverboat named Proud Mary. But Ike and Tina changed the rhythm Read the rest of this entry »
The best blues artist of the last decade is Riley B. King better known as B.B. King. He has been performing blues music for over five decades and is known by the world as “The King of the Blues.” He started recording in the 1950′s and has since released over fifty albums. His story of becoming a blues artist is remarkable. He started off playing on street corners for a dime in the small town of Bena Mississippi. In 1947 he decided to take the next Read the rest of this entry »
The Blues Artists Par Excellence
Today’s best musicians lay claim to inspiration from the most influential blues artists of all time. One name stands out above the rest: Robert Johnson. His lyrics, music and style are the origins of many contemporary blues artists’ styles. Add to this list Honeyboy Edwards, Big Mama Thornton, BB King, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley and it becomes a road map for history of the blues. The blues sound can be identified in music of Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Janis Joplin and even heavy metal artist Jimmie Hendrix.
The Immortality Of The Read the rest of this entry »
If you love the sound and stylings of blues music, and you want that classic Chicago artist’s sound, but you do not live in the Windy City, you can still find the style in local small time coffee shops, and blues clubs where you live. There are many small clubs where you can find the most classic blues music around, no matter where you may live. The smaller the clubs, the more likely you are going to find Read the rest of this entry »