BlueTele

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What Blues needs is more people who have really "lived" the Blues. THEY are the ones who can play it, and more importantly SING it. The only two white guys that I thought could ever sing the Blues well were Eric Burdon of the Animals and Greg Allman of course of the Allman Brothers. Steve Ray approached it on a few songs like "Leave My Little Girl Alone." To me "Blues" is all about the voice...not the guitar. The guitar accompanies the voice, not the other way around...IMHO.
 

Oxidao

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If you choose to believe the European folk tradition was important to the Blues, well, believe away. Much stronger links are found elsewhere
I think that saying the blues is built over Occidental music structure is a fact, more than an appropriation.

Western Civilization is our common heritage. The farther we go back in time... it was Rome, Greek, and Mesopotamia, where it all started for us... Harmonically.
Musical degrees (I Root, IV Subdominant, V Dominant, etc). Subdivision of 1 Octave in 7+5 sounds, etc.

The Instruments took a part on that also.

You explained so well what you Americans did later.
 

teletimetx

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Great post, although your opening swipe about Eurocentric appropriation wasn't worthy of the rest of it. All I said was that IN PART the Blues derives from the European folk tradition. That does not mean a) that the Blues is not American folk music, b) that European folk music is the main influence on the Blues or that c) nowhere other than Europe has a folk tradition. I never said any of those things and to insinuate otherwise is disingenuous at worst and a straw man at best.

I am, however, genuinely grateful to you for the information about the tonkori. Very interesting stuff and I am absolutely going to check that out further. Thank you.

I also completely agree with you that the Blues does not need anything. Quite so

All good points. Maybe I was over-reacting to the thought that Blues derives in any part from the European folk tradition. To ascribe derivation, in any part, just doesn't feel right. But I'm certainly not any kind of ethnomusicologist.

The European traditions go back quite far, from what I understand. Unfortunately, in the US, history as taught leans more into empire building and warfare, vs. cultural attributes, save a few nods to architecture, literature, maths and such. "Oh, yes, they made pottery - here's a picture." That kind of thing.

The troubadours of Occitania, for example, are thought to have had a 200+ year run, starting over 900 years ago. 1100AD, at the beginning, from what I read. William McGibbons collection of Scots fiddle tunes, published in 1742-46, four volumes - that was some time ago as well.

So certainly plenty of time for musicians of all stripes to talk music, as it frequently serves as a universal language.

Whatever the case may be, my sense of it is that there might have been more influence from European settlers in the Southern States, but after or maybe during the form we think of as the Blues came into being. Jug music before that, definitely from Europe. So who knows.

I appreciate your patience with some overreach on my part. As is obvious, I have plenty to learn - but that's the good news.
 

2HBStrat

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I listened to Sub Saharan African tribal music and tried to play it quite a lot.
Specifically the Folkways recordings made before the tribes got westernized...
Can you post a link to some of that...I would like to hear it.
Whether or not Marcus can play the Blues is secondary though to what I was saying about his seeming unable to create basic Blues based parts that fit a Little Feat tune....
I never thought of Little Feat as much of a blues band ..
 

telemnemonics

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Can you post a link to some of that...I would like to hear it.

I never thought of Little Feat as much of a blues band ..
Hard to search but heres a cut, much ends up being more modern assimilated where this is straight up tribal.

As for Little Feat, not a Blues band just generally Blues based old time funky rock.

 

Spox

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Hard to search but heres a cut, much ends up being more modern assimilated where this is straight up tribal.

As for Little Feat, not a Blues band just generally Blues based old time funky rock.


A few weeks ago I had my vinyl of an album of Tunisian music very similar to that on my ipod, it was fantastic.

Here's a modern take on Western Saharan music, I saw them live about twelve years ago, only have one vinyl album of them as it was about $45.

 

VonBonfire

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The only two white guys that I thought could ever sing the Blues well were Eric Burdon of the Animals and Greg Allman of course of the Allman Brothers.
How about Chris Cain? Does the fact that he is half greek and half black disqualify him from white boy blues singer status? Or can we consider him part of the african american tradition as an african american? This is the silliness of race based talk with regards to blues music and why it is non productive discussion matter engaged in mostly by people who listen to blues not those out there doing it (not saying that was you, but others brought it up). How black or how white makes black or white? How does skin tone give credibility beyond the musical abilities a person has? Please don't answer any of those questions. Thanks.

He is a good blues sanger and a heckuva picker too. That's all that really counts when it comes to blues if you ask me.

 

Fiesta Red

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This whole (extremely) stupid conversation about race and “white boys” is wrong, and smacks of elitism and racism.

Muddy Waters embraced many, many young white practitioners of blues—Johnny Winter, Bob Margolin, Jerry Portnoy, Paul Oscher and the Fabulous Thunderbirds being amongst them.

Albert King loved and recorded extensively with the MGs (mixed racially), and (later) Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Albert Collins had Debbie Davies in his band for years.

BB King loved and touted several white guitarists, amongst them Eric Clapton and Peter Green (of whom he said, “He’s the only one of these kids that can make me sweat.”—I’m paraphrasing, but you get the gist).

Amongst Freddie King’s last few recordings, Leon Russell and the Asylum Street Choir (racially mixed, but predominantly a bunch of Okies) were prominent.

Every time I saw Gatemouth Brown, his band was mixed.

Even locally (here in DFW), Sam Myers came to love Anson Funderburg and the Rockets and toured extensively with them until his death.

Robert Ealey drew from all the kids who revered him, like Sumner Bruton, Mike Buck, Mike Morgan, Dave Milsap, Memo Gonzalez and even a skinny little over-enthusiastic kid, (ME…he invited me to join him and play harp).

UP Wilson did likewise, and even spent a large portion of the latter part of his life in France, saying the talent pool for blues was excellent there (amongst other reasons).

If the old masters and local heroes were able to look past race, we should too.

Let’s drop this part of the discussion, please.
 
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telemnemonics

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A few weeks ago I had my vinyl of an album of Tunisian music very similar to that on my ipod, it was fantastic.

Here's a modern take on Western Saharan music, I saw them live about twelve years ago, only have one vinyl album of them as it was about $45.


Wow, I like that
Could even imagine paying actual money for a copy
Thinking about that for a moment, I have not directly paid actual $$ for music in almost a decade
 

gmann

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How about Chris Cain? Does the fact that he is half greek and half black disqualify him from white boy blues singer status? Or can we consider him part of the african american tradition as an african american? This is the silliness of race based talk with regards to blues music and why it is non productive discussion matter engaged in mostly by people who listen to blues not those out there doing it (not saying that was you, but others brought it up). How black or how white makes black or white? How does skin tone give credibility beyond the musical abilities a person has? Please don't answer any of those questions. Thanks.

He is a good blues sanger and a heckuva picker too. That's all that really counts when it comes to blues if you ask me.


He’s a great singer if you ask me!
 

Tele-Meister

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All you folks crying out to hear modern blues should try some proper rap; it's just as much rooted in the working lives of working class black Americans as the blues was a hundred years ago. Folk music (and I mean folk in the sense of music made by the working classes for the working classes and reflecting their own lives) is the same all over the world and throughout history - okay, the style may be different but the subject material is the same.

Disclaimer: Being neither black nor from the US, I'm aware that this may make my post hard to swallow. I'm also aware that folk music in all its forms speaks to other people from similar backgrounds, if not for the same demographics.
I like rap, and you are absolutely right that it can be rooted in the working and personal lives of black Americans, just like the blues (although both are done in completely different ways of course).

But what does this have to do with the OP's initial post?
 

telemnemonics

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I like rap, and you are absolutely right that it can be rooted in the working and personal lives of black Americans, just like the blues (although both are done in completely different ways of course).

But what does this have to do with the OP's initial post?
Uh, "what Blues needs" followed by a whole lotta words?
Words related to feelings about music based in feelings...
 

Jackroadkill

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I like rap, and you are absolutely right that it can be rooted in the working and personal lives of black Americans, just like the blues (although both are done in completely different ways of course).

But what does this have to do with the OP's initial post?
Well, this, really:
Uh, "what Blues needs" followed by a whole lotta words?
Words related to feelings about music based in feelings...

My point is that rap and blues are very similar in content, execution and origin. You can listen to the blues grandees forever if that floats your boat or you can look around and see what else is out there, whichever suits you best.
 

Peter Graham

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The troubadours of Occitania, for example, are thought to have had a 200+ year run, starting over 900 years ago. 1100AD, at the beginning, from what I read. William McGibbons collection of Scots fiddle tunes, published in 1742-46, four volumes - that was some time ago as well.
I think that you make (another) very good point here. The musical traditions that you refer to are part of a longstanding oral tradition of folk music. In some cases, it was only relatively recently that collectors had the means or the desire to try and capture this music. In the UK, at least, that tended to be motivated by a view that something culturally important was about to be lost. This process of collection might be thought to risk setting in stone as a canonical version a particular version of a song, but the oral tradition has always been stronger than that. One might take as an example the old English folk song "The Prickly Bush" aka "The Maid by the Gallows Saved", better known to both blues and rock fans as "Gallows Pole". The song was presumably already very old when it was first collected (it existed in a number of versions from across the country) and has continued to evolve, both in terms of the tune and the lyrics.

I'd argue that blues is part of this same vibrant tradition, notwithstanding that recording technology has allowed rather more of it to be preserved than might otherwise have been the case. But these moments of preservation are simply snapshots of a dynamic and endlessly evolving form. If that is right, then the only thing the blues "needs" is for people to continue to interpret it and listen to it.
 

Tele-Meister

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Well, this, really:


My point is that rap and blues are very similar in content, execution and origin. You can listen to the blues grandees forever if that floats your boat or you can look around and see what else is out there, whichever suits you best.
I understand more now, thank you, the reason why I was confused at first is because the OP was talking about the future of Blues music, and then you start talking about Rap music. Yes they are definitely similar but obviously not the same thing (I don't think you were trying to say that). So.... then if we're talking about the future of Blues why talk about Rap?
But now I understand you are saying that blues lovers should give Rap a chance because they might find it familiar... in a different way ;)
Or, blues music, but then rap over it... yeah I love different stuff but that's too much even for me!
 

Toto'sDad

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