What Blues Needs....part two

deytookerjaabs

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 5, 2015
Posts
3,920
Location
Nashville
An observation to piggyback on the other Blues thread...

I've been in Nashville for a long minute. There's something funny in it's scene related to and around ye olde country music, a bunch of people dedicated to this thing they call preservation. Some venue owners, guys like Marty Stuart & Joe Chambers, and others who all took on risky or straight losing ventures for the sake of the P word. Whether it's saving buildings, lobbying for museums or just flat out not selling out when you could retire fat there's this odd devotion to culture at large by many people. And, there was certainly a long time where this downtown could have been considered too blighted to save.

But I'm from Chicago, that's why this is so odd to me. Years back I had a list of old club, home & studio addresses in Chicago that I'd saved from interviews of musicians in Blues & Jazz. None of that stuff preserved, some of it parking lots, but a lot of spots simply just sitting around slightly dilapidated or repurposed. Now, there are a few players in the game. Buddy Guy lost money on his club for years, Willie Dixon foundation did a good service as well. But, considering all those giants that came after whom rode on the shoulders of musician's out of Chicago and specifically it's blues men of the 40's-70's I find the lack of cultural preservation to be on another level of disinterest.

Yes, I've seen some other charitable organizations in the related sphere but I don't think giving some kids in random towns a few lessons plus import gear hits the mark nearly as well as saving the hallowed grounds.

It'd be nice if the "Chicago School" of influence so to speak had a few more Marty Stuart's come out of it's woodshed but, sadly, that's not the case from my observations. Seems to me the guys who started with the least, like Buddy & Willie, had the most to give....an irony certainly worthy of The Blues.
 

telleutelleme

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Posts
22,297
Location
Houston
If Blues had the following, mega money awards shows it might be possible. Don't see it except for a few venues. BB Kings places did well and Austin and a few spots here in Houston have supported regional blues. Feel your pain.
 

deytookerjaabs

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 5, 2015
Posts
3,920
Location
Nashville
If Blues had the following, mega money awards shows it might be possible. Don't see it except for a few venues. BB Kings places did well and Austin and a few spots here in Houston have supported regional blues. Feel your pain.

Sure. But it's influence on all the many rock musicians who came out of it, used the tunes, arrangements, licks, etc, created a market & tons of success stories arguably as large. The other thing to consider is many of the folks most dedicated to preservation of country music history aren't necessarily the top grossing acts in the genre, often far from it.
 

Larry F

Doctor of Teleocity
Vendor Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Posts
18,034
Location
Iowa City, IA
Maybe this should have a thread of its own, but I'll try this here:

On TDPRI, I have read a lot of posts, that address the SRV wannabes that seem to permeate the blues scene. I wonder if there are some names and recordings of the SRV wannabes. Who are these wannabes?
 

brookdalebill

Tele Axpert
Ad Free Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Posts
119,311
Age
65
Location
Austin, Tx
It comes down to someone releasing a (blues) song that everyone wants to hear.
And buy.
And go see performed.
Tracy Chapman’s Give Me One Reason is the last “hit” that loosely fits the category, IMO.
A Pride N Joy, or equivalent.
It doesn’t necessarily need heroic playing, only players care about that.
The singer, and the song have to connect.
Perhaps I’m stating the obvious.
My post on another thread suggested Samantha Fish, or someone like her.
That person with that hit will eventually come along.
 

Andy B

Friend of Leo's
Gold Supporter
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Posts
2,664
Location
Castle Rock, Colorado
Samantha keeps pushing the envelope. Very different from when we first encountered her around 2010. The late John Catt always said that Sam would make it and she has certainly gone further than any of the up and coming players we would see at Blues From the Top or the Blue Star Connection shows.
I will say I do miss her closing shows with War Pigs.
 

burntfrijoles

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Posts
9,666
Location
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
But it's influence on all the many rock musicians who came out of it, used the tunes, arrangements, licks, etc, created a market & tons of success stories arguably as large. The other thing to consider is many of the folks most dedicated to preservation of country music history aren't necessarily the top grossing acts in the genre, often far from it.

Although they aren't musicians, I think that was the idea of Dan Akroyd and the Hard Rock Cafe owner to form the House of Blues. I remember there was even a TV series of their lives shoes with guys like Duke Robillard, Taj Majal, Robert Cray, John Lee Hooker, Charlie Musslewhite.
Obviously HOB isn't exactly what you're talking about but it would take some wealthy benefactors who care about the history and importance of the blues to preserve the blues legacy, and then it would have to be a market to sustain it.
While Country Music got the full Ken Burns, PBS treatment you can't say the same for The Blues. I assume it's because country music has such a massive following while blues really does not.
It may be a shame but the blues is fading. None of the young bucks are really preserving the essence of the blues. The greats of traditional blues are long gone other than a couple of folks.
I'd be shocked if many young guitarists even know of Otis Rush or Magic Sam, etc. How many young pianists know of Johnny Johnson or Pinetop Perkins, etc.
It's very unfortunate.
 

deytookerjaabs

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 5, 2015
Posts
3,920
Location
Nashville
Maybe this should have a thread of its own, but I'll try this here:

On TDPRI, I have read a lot of posts, that address the SRV wannabes that seem to permeate the blues scene. I wonder if there are some names and recordings of the SRV wannabes. Who are these wannabes?


I think an SRV phase is something many a guy goes through if not end up staying in that lane. Some great players here who have been way way way down the blues rabbit whole over the years:



Here's Kid Andersen in the first minute giving a demonstration of his early blues learnin':




Over the years I've met & seen plenty of guys who I don't know the names of come to a jam or hang with the half step down strat and "texas" 4 downbeat type feel who meander through most of the signature stevie licks.


Of course, JD and Kid are more astute students of the discipline.
 

deytookerjaabs

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 5, 2015
Posts
3,920
Location
Nashville
The general premise of Blues + Hits = Success (of the music) isn't really how I feel.

I more consider it's presence in many cities over decades part of live music culture in general. Today, that's a tough call in many cities to have venues that can operate with a low cost, cheap drinks, etc that don't simply appeal to the masses in order to break even. The old school venues in Nashville like Robert's rely on the fact that they were bought back in the 90s at bottom dollar. If sold, they'd have to cater to a different more modern audience to meet the overhead of purchasing a venue that costs what...millions of dollars now? First time I went to Robert's probably 15 years ago I could get drunk & eat on about 20-30 bucks! Now I go to downtown Nashville and it's 100 bucks to get a buzz goin.

Put it this way....If we were to call Chicago in the 40s-70s a "golden era" of sorts let's think about that for a minute. IMO guys who could sing and play guitar in the 50's like Otis, Muddy, Magic Sam, you can almost guarantee would have had a better chance of "success" by playing the Doo-Wop/Soul circuit where variety acts filled the theatres. That was the big thing with BB King, he was one of the few bluesmen of that era who got a wide enough audience to play those venues before the festival thing started up in the 70s. And, if you listen to his early records with the gospel influence, the arrangements, his upbeat style, etc, you can see why he had a larger appeal. But, traditionally, blues was always a lower income sport and guys playing the music knew it even in it's most popular era.
 

brookdalebill

Tele Axpert
Ad Free Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Posts
119,311
Age
65
Location
Austin, Tx
Maybe this should have a thread of its own, but I'll try this here:

On TDPRI, I have read a lot of posts, that address the SRV wannabes that seem to permeate the blues scene. I wonder if there are some names and recordings of the SRV wannabes. Who are these wannabes?
The Vaughanbes were more common in the aftermath of his passing.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Chris Duarte, Johnny Lang, John Mayer, Colin James, etc.
Most of these artists have matured and become their own men, IMO.
The Austin bar scene crawled with them for years.
Literally dozens of guys with sunburst Strats, tuned down a half step, plugged into Tube Screamers, Leslie-type pedals, into dimed Super Reverb amps.
They wore sombreros and had big 1/4 notes and conchos on their straps.
I started callng em’ Yawnabees.
Stevie was a monstrous influence on the generation of guitarists just younger than me.
When I moved to Canada in the early 90s, there were clones there in force, too.
SRV was unique.
He honored his mentors humbly, and faithfully.
He was a regular guy, too.
I think he deserves his rich legacy.
 
Last edited:

deytookerjaabs

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 5, 2015
Posts
3,920
Location
Nashville
The Vaughanbes were more common in the aftermath of his passing.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Chris Duarte, Johnny Lang, John Mayer, Colin James, etc.
Most of these artists have matured and become their own men, IMO.
The Austin bar scene crawled with them for years.
Literally dozens of guys with sunburst Strats, tuned down a half step, plugged into Tube Screamers, Leslie-type pedals, into dimed Super Reverb amps.
The wore sombreros and had big 1/4 notes and conchos on their straps.
I started callng em’ Yawnabees.
Stevie was a monstrous influence on the generation of guitarists just younger than me.
When I moved to Canada in the early 90s, there were clones there in force, too.
SRV was unique.
He honored his mentors humbly, and faithfully.
He was a regular guy, too.
I think he deserves his rich legacy.


Totally a generational thing. My Dad's favorite guitar player was SRV, he was at the last concert in Alpine Valley too. He was also the only straight ahead blues act my dad listened to and thus in terms of influence it was the only blues my vanilla butt had heard of up until age 13 or so.

You see, for me, besides SRV the only other blues I'd heard was classic rock bands covering the tunes. Huge guitar tones, top shelf sound & production, etc.

So, I remember when I got my first "hits of Howlin Wolf" CD, I put that thing in and upon hearing it thought "WTF is this crap??" It just didn't have any of the tone or sound I associated with blues. Took years of listening in those other genres for me to understand and feel the artist's intent, now that stuff makes more modern versions of blues feel a bit cheesy. Full circle!
 

tubejockey

Tele-Holic
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Posts
632
Location
the bozone
The blues has never really gone away. It showed up big in the 90s because there was a big backlash against the cheesy overproduced pop of the 80s. Anytime people start looking for more authentic music, the blues will show up but it might shape-shift. It's DNA will show up again in some other form. Right now people seem to be looking for superficial stuff.
 




Top