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Blues and struggle

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

  1. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    No, you're doing it all wrong.

    If you're watching someone else that isn't famous (or maybe the are), at least you know you're better. At the least, you are more authentic.

    If you're playing expensive gear, everyone else is playing junk.

    If you're playing something cheap, everyone else is a fool for spending a lot of money.

    If you play originals only, all the cover bands are talentless hacks.

    If you play covers, all the originals artists make crappy songs nobody wants to listen to.

    You get the point. Whatever you do, don't just let people play what they want, with what they want. This is the exact opposite of what the internet music experience was supposed to be.
     

  2. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 22, 2003
    Georgia/Minnesota
    Your view of modern Blues (apparently) is geographical. I'm guessing you're talking about Blues Rock, Joe B. and those fellows. I find it humorous that you've painted the entire genre with your narrow interpretation.

    But I understand, If I lived in say, Duluth, MN, the blues would be pretty white and upper middle class (actually, there is no Blues scene in Duluth currently but for a yearly Blues fest with talent brought in). Oh, Charlie Parr plays acoustic blues, but it's closer to folk than Blues.

     

  3. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    One thing as we discuss LarryF's initial post about "struggle" is that we as a forum collective, are probably the ones not struggling. I suspect that the ones truly struggling and perhaps even playing the blues do not have the time or resources to comment here. Of course, I know a few here are struggling with just trying to stay alive and some just digging themselves out of some bad circumstances, point being, the majority of us may discount the word "struggle", but we perhaps are a somewhat biased group. Just sayin'
     
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  4. blowtorch

    blowtorch Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Wisco
    Well I've been to juke joints in Clarksdale, as the only white guy there. And I've passed around the brown paper bag in a park in Memphis, watching the local guys play. Only white guy there, too . But that's got really nothing to do with nothing

    Blues is a museum piece. As pointed out earlier, that's what the majority of the (relatively) younger heirs of it will tell you. And the times when it's not a museum piece, it's just being brought down off the shelf and dusted off, as a re-enactment. Like those medieval jousts or civil war re-enactments. Or bluegrass :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017

  5. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 15, 2010
    Texas
    You're right...now I get it, even though I don't "Get it"! :D
     

  6. oldmark

    oldmark Tele-Holic

    502
    Dec 27, 2008
    Berks County, PA
    long ago, someone asked John Hurt why blues began in Mississippi...He said,"Because it was the worst place."
    Blues is all about struggle, emotion, pain and sometimes victory...I know it does not suit everyone, but If something in the occasional blues song does not reach you, maybe you should do something besides music...because you probably don't meet the requirements.
    It's not about how many notes you can play or how loud..it's communication...and art...that's it.
     
    Obsessed likes this.

  7. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    To address the actual OP.

    I saw some 10 year old playing blues on Facebook the other day. He was on stage with somebody I hadn't heard of, but I got the impression he was kind of well known.

    The kid had a sweet Firebird and played all those little wispy phrases that are characteristic of the vocal, weepy nature of one form of modern blues guitar. Really nice stuff, if you're into that type of thing. I couldn't watch much of it because I'm not into it, but that's beside the point. Odds are that kiddo hasn't seen much struggle, but he had that feel and sound. I bet if he was behind a wall nobody would have guessed what he was.

    At the same time, nobody can mimic Junior Kimbrough or RL Burnside, but would anybody want to? Those guys have struggled I'm sure. However, if most of us tried to cop their licks and songs on YouTube we'd get booed off the internet. Their authenticity allows them to be what they are to some extent. I actually do like listening to them, so that's not hater talk.

    So, I can't say it's always struggle that makes the blues, at least when it comes to modern times. I think to a big extent it's mimicry, but that doesn't mean it isn't compelling. Doing something the second time (or 1000th time) doesn't make it void of feeling. I'm not a Joe B fan either, but I saw a performance of Beth Hart's with him and it was compelling as hell.
     
    blowtorch likes this.

  8. blowtorch

    blowtorch Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Wisco
    That's an excellent point. And those guys played through solid state Peaveys and pointy shred guitars. Because that's what they could get for next to nothing. And, you are right when you say "Their authenticity allows them to be what they are"

    I saw that kid with the Firebird, too. He's really, really good. With ZERO typical "bluesman struggles"
     

  9. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    Those documentaries are on YouTube. You should read some of the comments about how they suck at guitar. Thing is, I get where those comments are coming from. Don't agree, but I get it.
     

  10. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Feb 14, 2011
    Annapolis, MD
    Music is just music.
     
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  11. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    56
    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    Yes.
    ME!
     
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  12. blowtorch

    blowtorch Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Wisco
    Some of it's overdone, though. I swear, if I never hear another Boston song, I'll be good with that
     
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  13. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    From this perfectly legit perspective, Rock and Jazz are also museum pieces.
    But while looking out from this vantage point, can you list the music genres that are not museum pieces?

    From the opposite perspective, once a style or genre is formed, it can be played forever and still be the same genre, unless it changes into a different genre, like
    Blues to Rock or Blues to Jazz or Blues to Funk or Blues to Soul or Blues to Disco or Blues to Hip Hop or Blues to Punk or Blues to Reggae or Blues to postmodern composers composing whatever the hell it's called.

    Amiright?
     
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  14. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    Yup. "Museum" does not make sense to me in this dialog. It is an evolution. Where would you stop a genre of music and call it Museum music? You could not legitimately draw this line for blues. 1920, 1930, 1940, 1950, 1960? Nope.
     

  15. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Tele-Meister

    394
    May 7, 2015
    atlanta
    the point being, "don't live your life to someone else's expectations"
    the only way to be cool is to be yourself, if you are not you, who will be you?
    you are unique in the world, do what you can do, not what everybody else is doing.

    it seems so obvious but, the media, the educational system and the government are all bent on making you a variation on the one true only other, (meaning anyone other than yourself) you're too tall, you're too short, you're too white, you're too black, and whatever it is thats wrong with you we can fix it by bending you to our perfect model, by taking your money and giving you product x,y or z or taking your money and spending it on program x,y or z

    its all about making you insecure, so you can be manipulated. If I Only had a 54 Tele, I'd be happy - its all a fallacy.

    there is no contest. As Ali said, " a real champ, fights himself" if you spend your life comparing yourself to everyone else, you'll never accomplish anything except eye strain.

    there is no Internet Music Experience. All these memes are placed before you to distract you and suck you into wasting your life contemplating the meaningless. The internet isn't a community, its a butt load of wires hooking together computers, anything that exist on the network is its own thing, not the internet.

    when we did it with modems and bulletin boards, we didn't call it the modemnet and eschew it with unique properties based soley on its monicker. Most people have been so sucessfully propagandized by the machine they can't think straight, they can only regurgitate their programming.

    Musicians possess no special ability to resist the sea of crap we swim in - the best way to avoid being poisoned is not to drink the poison. Disconnect as much as you possibly can, in no way are you getting more than you are giving. You're life will be over and you will have spent it, watching tv and surfing the web and arguing sports.

    As David Cassidy told his daughter on his deathbed, "I wasted so much time."

    don't be that guy....
     

  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    I actually had a real problem with a few classically trained African American musicians attempting to play Jazz without IMO being authentic.
    I'm talking about classical trumpet master Wynton Marsalis and his contemporary Terence Blanchard.
    Wynton was/ is a classical trumpet player, playing classical music like in symphonies.
    While they both had mad skills and could duplicate authentic Jazz, IMO that is what they were doing, duplicating Jazz.
    This was clarified and driven home by their assertion that they were playing "in the tradition", and their claim was that "the (Jazz) tradition" was 1940s Jazz.
    So their duplication of old music was to them "the tradition of Jazz".
    I found this highly offensive as a white guy trying to follow the Jazz tradition of listening to the old and creating something new.
    Maybe I also secretly knew that I was not "really playing Jazz".
    While I saw and loved some white Jazz musicians, most were not white.
    Even as time had dispersed the music widely enough for all races to grow up in Jazz, live think and breathe Jazz, play nothing but Jazz, and be real Jazz musicians.
    While race seemed an obvious factor, it was not the central problem.

    I had grown up in diverse musics, and only found the later Jazz I came to love most, later in my own life, after I became a musician.
    Jazz as a second language?

    Blues as a second language, can it be authentic?
     

  17. blowtorch

    blowtorch Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Wisco
    the hip-hop based ones. And some of the mashup genres are still actually vital, pioneering, and progressive. I'm sure there are others

    This is not my preference, it's just how things are. If I had my way, rockabilly would still be a happenin thing :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017

  18. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 7, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    If you want to talk about where a genre comes from I'd have to go with Jakedog's observation of field hollers and using song to battle strife. Struggle for sure. But plenty of blues evolved into the same story lines as any other song but retained the blues phrasing.

    Also, I don't think there is a monetary threshold that prevents internal and mental struggle...so that means Warren Buffet could write a pretty good blues song if he were so inclined.:)

    But struggle in lyrics shows up everywhere. This song "My Uncle" was one that resounded with me the instant I heard it because it captured my struggle. Nowhere close to being "blues"...but it captured my mental struggle with a very large problem that could have changed my life...

     

  19. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Feb 14, 2011
    Annapolis, MD
    My friend and teacher has this covered.

     

  20. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Tele-Meister

    394
    May 7, 2015
    atlanta
    music like language, which is in someway a variant (ie bird's communicate with song, it is their language) must change to stay alive and relevant, a static language is dead, as would be a static genre (like doowop) as long as it is changing and being reinvented it is alive. Latin didn't die, it became spanish, and french and italian and bits of it sprinkled through dozens more languages. But Latin did die... see how a thing can be two different things? Dead and alive simultaneously.

    As long as people are playing blues and writing new songs and trying to mash up different elements from other genres, its alive.

    Its only when its firmly affixed to a musical staff, bound and printed and taught that one must not deviate from the published chart, that music dies. I doubt that will happen to the blues as it is a form of folk music, and folk music will exist as long as there are folks.
     
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