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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Blues and struggle

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Larry F, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Nov 5, 2006
    Iowa City, IA
    Does struggle lie close to the heart of the blues? Not so much loss or pain (and their antidotes) exactly. It's just that everything is a struggle. You think you get a little ahead here, then something happens to knock you back. But you persevere with the help of song or a guitar.

    In classical music, the musical protagonist in a symphony always emerges victorious. In blues, you just keep pushing along, fast-slow, loud-soft, over and over with the struggle that never ends. It is only passed from one musician to others.

  2. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Dec 18, 2016
    Camden Point, MO
    Struggle seems to be the defining quality of it, doesn't it ?
    viccortes285 likes this.

  3. black_doug

    black_doug Tele-Afflicted

    Usually . . . but B.B. King also sang about his Sweet Little Angel.
    MA6200 likes this.

  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Originally, I'd guess yes.
    Before the artists owned their instruments or even them selves.
    Not sure what it's grown to become though.
    thegeezer, Jakedog and blowtorch like this.

  5. jarpat

    jarpat Tele-Meister

    Nov 1, 2017
    Helsinki, Finland
    Life is a struggle and then you die. Some people want to sing about it. It may lighten the burden for a while..
    Gibsonsmu likes this.

  6. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    these days blues is mostly the domain of rich middle aged white guys, playing on overly expensive equipment.

    so, no
    Geo, Pete Baker, CWP0126 and 11 others like this.

  7. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

    Hey! We got our problems too, aint we?!,

  8. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

    May 27, 2013
    Most of the blues songs I've heard celebrate life.
    Celebrate in a way that shows the light at the end of the tunnel.

    If a blues artist is an alcoholic and is singing about life inside
    a bar, then you will get a glimpse into that lifestyle. Same with
    love and relationships. He loves her so fricken bad, it hurt when she left him.

    But he still felt love right?

    Not every blues musician is a broken down, fall down drunk of
    a lowly life human being. If you are, then of course you struggle!
    Must be very difficult to go through life learning your blues guitar
    and having a burden, physical, mental or spiritual handicap always hanging around.

    Then again, some people might just like to perpetuate the stereotype.



  9. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    man oh man SaMANtha! she can eat pickled fish in my bed any day
    esetter and jimbo735 like this.

  10. black_doug

    black_doug Tele-Afflicted

    My dad used to say the same about country music, that they're all songs about somebody doin' somebody wrong. "Cryin' in yer beer" songs. That was then, this is now.
    Toto'sDad and thegeezer like this.

  11. midnight340

    midnight340 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Dec 27, 2012
    Lawrence, KS
    We are all souls on our own journey. Some fortunate to start out in better places, some managing to get to a good place, some in the process of losing everything. Life is wonderful and a gift. But never easy. Blues is about seeing the whole ordeal and trying to express what it FEELS like going through it all.

  12. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Yes, fo sho'! like whether the HOAs in our suburbs are up to snuff....and where to get those NOS capacitors...if those aint real problems, i'll eat my black cat bone!
    Tonemonkey likes this.

  13. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Aug 17, 2017
    Essex, UK
    My take on the Blues is that it's usually by people who share parts of their life story from a perspective that by no fault of their own, they've been born into strife and have no real way to create a better life for themselves. It's probably a general truism that blues songs usually tend to represent a struggle of some description.
    texastengu likes this.

  14. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 14, 2008
    Manheim Pa.
    The blues is about feeling good about feeling bad .
    texastengu, telemnemonics and Bones like this.

  15. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable Tele-Meister

    Aug 14, 2015
    If you've been touched by blues, everything you touches becomes blues. It's not about 12 bars and stratocasters, it's the ups and downs of a hard life. You can have the real feel no matter what kind of music you play.

  16. Slim

    Slim Tele-Holic

    Apr 11, 2003
    Fayetteville, AR
    I'd say struggle. The classic blues theme is about trying to hold on to one's own modest, fair share of the things in life - like a place to live, a livelihood/job, a spouse - and dealing with the conflicts that are preventing you from holding on to them with dignity.
    Grateful Ape likes this.

  17. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    blues has become a tired and worn cliche
    Bill Hubbard, AJ Love and Flat6Driver like this.

  18. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 22, 2003
    blowtorch, I imagine the whiteness of the of the Blues depends on where you live. Thankfully it's not the case with Atlanta. We have a culture of celebrating the older practitioners of Blues music and cultivating the young ones. Check it out.

    studio gets the Kewpie doll, "Most of the blues songs I've heard celebrate life." Extra points for the pic of Beverly "Guitar" Watkins who plays locally, often at the club where i have a long time Sunday night gig. My bandmate, 91 year old Eddie Tigner hired Beverly to play with him on the road many years ago in his version of the traveling "Ink Spots".

  19. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I struggle to listen to Blues.
    Tedious, boring, self indulgent stuff, for the most part, played by people (these days) who never struggled or suffered, except to get their “tone”.
    Lemme up, I’ve had enough.

  20. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

    Aug 23, 2014
    I think of the Blues as just another musical form. Like all music, it's about life and human emotion, happiness as well as sadness, and the struggle of being a human on planet earth. It's simple. It's emotive. It's rhythmic. It's jazz with only 3 chords. Granted, if you go back to the beginning of it you'll end up in Africa. But that's true with jazz, swing, and I think the majority of American popular music today. Like Muddy sang, "the blues had a baby and they call it rock 'n roll". I was never into the Blues myself until a little later in life when I realized that most of what I really liked, and liked to play, started there. Then I started on a journey, listening and going back in time. In the process I've grown to love "Muddy", "Wolf", Freddie, Albert, B.B, T-Bone, Louis Jordan, and most of the rest. They speak to me. And so do George Jones and Beethoven.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017

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