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What brought you to the blues?

Mavis Enderby 14 Feb 10 - 09:46 AM
olddude 14 Feb 10 - 09:49 AM
VirginiaTam 14 Feb 10 - 09:55 AM
Dave MacKenzie 14 Feb 10 - 10:02 AM
Will Fly 14 Feb 10 - 10:58 AM
fat B****rd 14 Feb 10 - 11:10 AM
Guy Wolff 14 Feb 10 - 11:13 AM
Leadfingers 14 Feb 10 - 11:20 AM
olddude 14 Feb 10 - 11:20 AM
GUEST,David E. 14 Feb 10 - 11:49 AM
wysiwyg 14 Feb 10 - 11:56 AM
Banjiman 14 Feb 10 - 12:02 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Feb 10 - 12:37 PM
Paco O'Barmy 14 Feb 10 - 12:41 PM
Michael S 14 Feb 10 - 03:03 PM
Lonesome EJ 14 Feb 10 - 03:23 PM
Lonesome EJ 14 Feb 10 - 03:25 PM
mousethief 14 Feb 10 - 04:00 PM
mousethief 14 Feb 10 - 04:03 PM
Dave MacKenzie 14 Feb 10 - 04:38 PM
Amos 14 Feb 10 - 07:11 PM
GUEST,Roger Knowles 14 Feb 10 - 08:16 PM
dwditty 14 Feb 10 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 14 Feb 10 - 09:06 PM
GUEST,MTed 14 Feb 10 - 11:26 PM
alanabit 14 Feb 10 - 11:34 PM
Janie 15 Feb 10 - 12:16 AM
Lonesome EJ 15 Feb 10 - 01:01 AM
Mavis Enderby 15 Feb 10 - 02:14 AM
Janie 15 Feb 10 - 02:32 AM
glueman 15 Feb 10 - 03:31 AM
Will Fly 15 Feb 10 - 04:05 AM
Dave MacKenzie 15 Feb 10 - 04:08 AM
Will Fly 15 Feb 10 - 05:03 AM
alanabit 15 Feb 10 - 05:26 AM
Will Fly 15 Feb 10 - 05:30 AM
alanabit 15 Feb 10 - 05:37 AM
Will Fly 15 Feb 10 - 05:53 AM
Roger the Skiffler 15 Feb 10 - 06:05 AM
Hamish 15 Feb 10 - 06:47 AM
GUEST,walter harpman 29 Nov 10 - 08:24 AM
tritoneman 29 Nov 10 - 10:36 AM
Dave Sutherland 29 Nov 10 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,jeff 29 Nov 10 - 12:59 PM
Mavis Enderby 29 Nov 10 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 29 Nov 10 - 04:39 PM
I don't know 29 Nov 10 - 05:12 PM
melodeonboy 29 Nov 10 - 05:34 PM
Dave MacKenzie 29 Nov 10 - 05:47 PM
Nick 29 Nov 10 - 06:02 PM
Mark Ross 29 Nov 10 - 06:22 PM
richd 29 Nov 10 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 29 Nov 10 - 07:07 PM
Joe_F 29 Nov 10 - 07:44 PM
Bobert 29 Nov 10 - 07:44 PM
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Subject: What brought you to the blues?
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 09:46 AM

Given the recent interest in blues on Mudcat at the moment, I thought I'd ask folks what introduced them to the blues, and what developed that interest.

For me, it was a couple of films that did it, all of which I saw for the first time in my mid-late teens. The Blues Brothers was probably the most obvious influence, and although I think it was a great film it wasn't particularly the music of the Blues Brothers Band that most appealed, it was some of the background music - this was the first time I heard anything as mesmerising as John Lee Hooker's Boogie Chillen for example. Another influential film was Crossroads, which introduced legend of Robert Johnson, and also introduced Ry Cooder's playing.

Once I got started, I started listening to artists such as Hooker and Cooder, and Robert Johnson. I also bought a CD called The Roots of Robert Johnson, which contains the songs which influenced his own, and introduced a whole raft of other artists from the 20s-30s. I'd also started seeking out live performances too - had a particular liking for a couple of Lincoln bands - the Bamboo Beat Band and the Walter Harpman band - anyone remember those?

Nowadays I'm interested in listening and playing all sorts of music, but there's always a blues influence in there somewhere.

I'm sure my experience isn't that different to many other blues lovers - so what's your experience?


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: olddude
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 09:49 AM

The guitar work, I always found it to be wonderful with variations that I don't see in folk music. although folk is my genre, I love the blues guitar


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 09:55 AM

I am a very recent convert. I mean I have enjoyed listening for near a decade, when I happened on to it. Never actively sought it out.

Then discovering Odetta just over a year ago and tracing back some of her songs to originals, I got really interested.

Now trying to learn to sing. Can only dream of playing on guitar. It is hard though. Very hard.   I don't have the right feeling for it.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 10:02 AM

"I was born to sing the blues". Well, maybe not, but it's so long ago it seems like it. Initially Dylan and the Stones, so I wanted to hear the originals.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 10:58 AM

As I said on the other blues thread:

"When I was, I think, about 14, an uncle took me to a venue in Bristol - don't know if it was the Old Market or the Colston Hall - to see a black man playing the guitar and singing.

When I was 20, I went with some friends to the Free Trades Hall in Manchester to see a black man playing the guitar and singing.

The first one was Bill Broonzy, the second one was Gary Davis. I have to admit that details of the Bristol concert are very hazy because I didn't really know anything about him or the music. But it got me interested in the music. By the time I saw the Rev., I was very interested indeed, and I can recall his concert very vividly. At around the same time (mid-60s') I bought my first two blues albums. One was Leadbelly, accompanied on some tracks by dulceola player Paul Mason Howard, and Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee's "Back Country Blues". I also remember borrowing a 10" LP of Sonny Terry playing solo harmonica. Of course, I just had to buy one and learn "Fox Chase" and "Whooping and Hollering" and the train blues.

All this was 45-50 years ago, but sometimes it feels like yesterday. To me, Broonzy, Davis, Terry, McGhee - their light remains undimmed."


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: fat B****rd
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 11:10 AM

John Connolly had Alexis Korner's R and B at The Marquee and( he won't remember it was very esrly 60s)and I heard it at Beaconthorpe Youth Club in Cleethorpes.
Pye had just started their R'n'B Label (red and yellow) with Chuck Berry and load of Chess /Checker players, and a friend played me Muddy Waters at Newport and Terry and Mcghee's Blues is a Story LP. Before that I remember the name Leadbelly from the Donegan records and Wally Whyton had a lunchtime Light Programme series and I'm certain I heard the occasional Leadbelly song there.
What with Korner and Cyril Davies getting on the radio and Dave Berry and the Cruisers at the local dance hall the Blues was a wonderful discovery and still is.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 11:13 AM

The guy that got me playing the blues was really "The Old Folk at Home " Taj Mahal . Robert Johnson hit me hard and Blind Blake via Ry Cooder . Ry is a story on his own . Lonny Johnson bought me back to my father's favorite Django Rienhart . So many greats along the way .


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 11:20 AM

Having come into Folk Via Jazz Clarinet and Sax , my first 'folk' instrunebt HAD to be whistle . Fell into a casual blues bash in a pub in 1964 , which developed into a 'sort' of Jugband , one of the members of which introduced me to some of the Mississippi delta guys .
Never really will be a 'Blues Guitarist' , but I DO like to fake a few simple licks on the odd Standard .


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: olddude
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 11:20 AM

TAM
learn to sing? you are wonderful ...no learning there from what I heard. Amazing voice


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: GUEST,David E.
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 11:49 AM

My friend Chuck, who, in the late sixties, lent me records of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Alexis Korner, Cyril Davies...generous guy. An early favorite of mine included Ram John Holder's Black London Blues...anyone remember that one? Still have it. Classic. Eventually settled into the old guy with a guitar scene with Brownie McGhee and Mississippi John Hurt as favorites. Funny...blues is the only music I've ever listened to where my taste has never changed, I still like the same people I liked forty years ago.

David E.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 11:56 AM

My big sis took me to Biddy Mulligan's at a tender age. Can't recall if she was the first-- can't recall who else took me there too.

Chicago, urban, hip, electric. Koko Taylor was there. Journeywoman, not a media darling then. More RAW than later.

Doc Watson aficionados in Chi folk scene gave me a delta-blues-picking ear and mentioned MJH, so I kep' an ear out on him TOO and then.....

Later...

I met a Southside of Chi-raised man who'd found his own way there and...

We married up. (I came HERE looking for stuff for HIM.)

I got into the spirituals and then....

~Susan


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Banjiman
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 12:02 PM

What brought me to the blues?

I woke up one morning...... and my woman was gone!


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 12:37 PM

"What brought you to the blues?"
The number 44 bus from Kirkby into the centre of Liverpool.
In those halcyon pre-Beatles days The Cavern was a superb jazz club with a smattering of blues thrown in. Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee - magic!
Good days!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Paco O'Barmy
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 12:41 PM

Paul Kossoff.
Son House.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Michael S
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 03:03 PM

John Hammond, Jr. on the TV show Austin City Limits, a couple of decades ago. I'd heard and enjoyed blues before that, but this performance pulled me in definitively.

Purists may scoff at this. But it's because of this experience that I have nothing but admiration for devoted revivalist or interpreters or whatever you may call them. I learned quickly that Hammond was a little rowboat in a big sea. I dove into books by Sam Charters and Paul Oliver, and music by Son House, Charley Patton, Robert and Tommy Johnson, etc. Though I already knew Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker, I plunged more into Chicago blues, and the Kings. That TV broadcast was really the point where I said, "I'm going to take a closer look at this." I was just talking to my wife about this. She was there and now says, "Suddenly, you were spending a bunch of money on blues."

Michael Scully
Austin


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 03:23 PM

Like a lot of American teenagers in the 1960s, it was actually British rock interpretations of the Blues that got me into it. I was a big fan of the Yardbirds'tunes like I'm a Man (cover of Muddy's mannish Boy), and Smokestack Lightning(Howlin Wolf cover). The Stones, Cream, Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Zeppelin, early Fleetwood Mac, all this was the stuff that got me listening to Blues. I had always thought of Disraeli Gears as a psychedelic opus, but recent listening reveal that it's primarily an early Clapton/Bruce blues album. Later, groups like the Allman Brothers, Canned Heat and Paul Butterfield Band re-spun traditional blues closer to home. I began playing the Blues in the 1980s, and that's when I finally discovered who was really behind a lot of the songs and guitar riffs I had been listening to for years. While I have gained an affection for the Delta grandfathers of the Blues, like Son House, Robert Johnson, and Elmore James, I probably have more affinity for the Chicago style of Muddy, Lightnin, Freddie King, Albert Collins, etc.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 03:25 PM

Note to self...close the italics next time.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: mousethief
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 04:00 PM

Rev. Gary Davis. Then Robert Johnson. Then I found a local weekly show and all hell broke loose.

O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: mousethief
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 04:03 PM

Oops forgot to say Mississippi John Hurt.

O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 04:38 PM

Old time blues singers are like single malt whiskies. The ones I don't like are very few and far apart. I could probably count them on the fingers of one foot.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Amos
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 07:11 PM

Bill Broonzy, Sonny Terry, BRownie McGhee, and Bessie Smith were my fist constellation.


A


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: GUEST,Roger Knowles
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 08:16 PM

Sonny & Brownie at Leeds Town Hall with the Weavers, 1959, Josh White on the TV about the same time, and a pal of mine, Pete Lean, who could play like Big Bill Broonzy.
What a nice gift. Thanks, guys.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: dwditty
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 08:44 PM

When I was in junior high school, I would fall asleep listening to WILD, a rhythm and blues station out of Roxbury, Mass. In 7th grade, I started listening to some of my older sister's records and found Oscar Brown, jr...that did it for me. Like others above, it was listening to Ry Cooder around 1970 that got me to seek out the sources of the music. Been hooked ever since.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 09:06 PM

Eric Clapton -

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

who rendered Robert Johnson's blues in a key signiture that was consistant.<


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: GUEST,MTed
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 11:26 PM

Listened to a lot of blues in high school, but the thing that got me really excited about it all was the Ann Arbor Blues Festival--I didn't go to the first one, but suddenly, blues artists were playing everywhere, and it was all everyone listened to or talked about. Nothing else was cool any more.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: alanabit
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 11:34 PM

My way in was pretty similar to Lonesome EJ's. I first heard the Stones, Yardbirds, Fleetwood Mac and the other British blues boom heroes. Then in the seventies, when I was working and could buy records, I started checking out Mississippi John Hurt, Robert Johnson, Elmore James, Muddy Waters and the other originals. I love them too. For me they do not necessarily have to be old to ring true. I think the young Duane Allman, Clapton, Peter Green, Mike Bloomfield, Keb Mo, Paul Kossof etc are all just as great in their own way. If they can make it sound like their blues, rather than someone just playing blues licks, that will do it for me. (Plenty of more knowledgeable Catters will feel differently!)


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Janie
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 12:16 AM

In a nutshell, sex, drugs and rock 'n roll.

I'm a fan, not a player.

To some extent, similar to LEJ and alanabit - but I grew up listening to my Mom's R&B albums, and was turned on to some of the classic female blues singers by Mom and by a friend in high school - Ida Cox, Ethel Waters, Blu Lu Barker, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and others. Loved Motown growing up & found myself backtracking from there.   Bobby Bland and Muddy Waters I was introduced to early. Ray Charles. Fats Waller. Jugband music. Country Blues. Was late hearing Delta Blues and Piedmont blues. Seems I've always been drawn to spirituals. Of the British bluesmen, no one has yet mentioned Long John Baldry.

Seems to me, any kind of music I am strongly drawn to, if I track it back, or follow it foreward, gonna run into the Blues.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 01:01 AM

Long John Baldry...wasn't he known for playing a sort of...boojie woojie music?


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 02:14 AM

Some great stories folks - keep 'em coming.

I'm a bit jealous of those who were just a bus ride away from the likes of Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee or Bill Broonzy, Rev Gary Davies....

Pete


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Janie
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 02:32 AM

He did. But he was also one of the earliest of Brits to bring blues to British clubs. I looked around on YouTube but didn't find anything very representative of what I remembered and liked about his music. I wouldn't call him a bluesman, but he was definitely in the vanguard of the UK rock/blues interpretations.

Saw him, Fleetwood Mac and Joe Cocker perform a triple-header at an old movie theatre in Akron, OH, along about 1969 or 70. Maybe it sounded so good because I was so high. Blues informed rock was how I thought of it then, and still think of it.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: glueman
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 03:31 AM

A friend had a stack of blues re-issues from the 60s and 70s. We'd sit round his house listening to all the Mississippi and delta bluesmen and drink beer. The British virtuoso blues guitar stuff leaves me cold.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Will Fly
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 04:05 AM

John Baldry was a great blues singer. You can hear his distinctive voice as one of the backing vocals on Cyril Davies' "Preaching The Blues", where he was one of the Allstars.

I saw him around 1964 in Leeds where he played a college dance with his own quartet - bass, drums, piano and guitar. Absolutely superb voice and an imposing presence on stage. He went rather "pop" some years later, but his early days were firmly rooted in Chicago-style blues.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 04:08 AM

Baldry did the best ever version of "I got my Mojo Working" after Muddy that I've heard.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Will Fly
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 05:03 AM

Indeed he did, Dave. I gather that, after he went to live in Canada (Toronto? Montreal?), he returned more and more to the blues before he died.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: alanabit
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 05:26 AM

John Baldry was also regarded very much as a mentor by others, who later made notable careers. Off the top of my head, I can name Rod Stewart and Elton John, who was once his keyboard player. Other Catters will no doubt be able mention several more.
From the Brits, the names of John Mayall and Alexis Körner will eventually appear as mentors. I was never a huge fan of their records, but their role in bringing on countless musicians, whom I admire greatly, is beyond dispute.
I think a lot of what brought you to this music has to do with when and where you were first attracted to it. It is after all a pretty subjective process! It reminds me of Jerry Rasmussen's remark that he can fairly accurately pinpoint someone's birth year by hearing a list of their favourite records.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Will Fly
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 05:30 AM

Actually, alanabit, my unsung hero for bringing blues to this country is Chris Barber - still going and still playing jazz. I believe he brought Broonzy and Terry & McGhee over before anyone else had really taken any notice of them.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: alanabit
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 05:37 AM

You could not be more right! That was how John Mayall himself got started, was it not?


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Will Fly
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 05:53 AM

I do believe it was. And, of course, it was Barber who continued the Ken Colyer tradition of having a guitar and washboard set in the middle of a jazz evening - with dear old Lonnie Donegan as featured performer. That certainly started something... :-)


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 06:05 AM

Louis Armstrong to Bessie Smith,then to the other women blues singers of the 20s on, Lonnie D back to Leadbelly, then to other country bluesmen, then via Muddy to the "newer" fellers and their electric kit.

RtS
White boy* lost in the blues

*OK, old geezer!


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Hamish
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 06:47 AM

Paul Jones's BBC Radio 2 programme's essential listening for all fans of the blues, surely? Great mix of old classic tracks and new stuff.

Ian Parker's gig in the Fiddle and Bone, Birmingham, about ten years ago will live long in the memory.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: GUEST,walter harpman
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 08:24 AM

just discovered this page. wow, fancy being mentioned as someone whose band helped turn someone on to the blues ! for me it was the stones first and then hearing what are still three of my favourite blues records - "down and out blues" by sonny boy williamson and "back country blues" and "living with the blues" by brownie and sonny (the latter surely their very best l.p.)and then john mayall, duster bennet, fleetwood mac and canned heat
i'm still at it with the legendary night owls. i just can't give it up !


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: tritoneman
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 10:36 AM

The first blues i remember hearing was Rory and Alex McEwan singing Dupree! Later I discovered Broonzy, Leadbelly, Sonny Terry and Brownie Mghee, Gary Davis, Bessie Smith et al.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 12:18 PM

"Down and Out Blues" by Sonny Boy Williamson has got to be one of the best album covers of all time. That alone enhanced my interest in the Blues.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 12:59 PM

A friend of my older brother brought over an lp of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band live. That may have been the title of the lp, I don't remember. However, I was about 11 at the time and it blew the top of my head off. That and seeing James Brown on the T.A.M.I. Show a couple years earlier.

As much as I loved the Beatles those two experiences are what prompted me to become a musician...of which blues is an integral part. When I started finger-picking I was lead to all the 'Mississippi-Delta Blues' masters. Then the 'Mickey Baker Jazz Chord' book. The black/yellow one that's out of print. At least I think it's out of print.

Then later on while travelling on an extended self-guided cycling tour of Ireland/Scotland/Wales I got on to my own Celtic heritage and bought every 'Green Linnet' sampler I could get my hands on. I'm STILL trying to figure out how to play the rhythm for 'Music For A Found Harmonium' properly. :-)

Sorry, got off track there a little.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 01:15 PM

Great to hear from you Walter - some great days & good memories of your band back then. I'll be looking out for the Legendary Night Owls too..

Cheers,

Pete.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 04:39 PM

Strangely, I came to the blues via reading a book.
Around 1960, Sam Charters book "The Country Blues" was in my local - N.W.England - library, and - for some long forgotton reason - I borrowed it, and absolutely loved the stories he told about Blind Lemon, Blind Willie, Robert Johnson etc.
A few years were to pass before I got around to actually hearing all the artists featured in the book; indeed, in 1960, would any of Robert Johnson's recording be available( apart from the original 78s).


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: I don't know
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 05:12 PM

First real encounter with the blues was through Kent Duchaine. Since then have listened to Muddy Waters, leadbelly & local blues bands.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: melodeonboy
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 05:34 PM

"Son of Gutbucket"


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 05:47 PM

Kent Duchaine's due in Chester on 3 February. Mike Bowden's restarting the Thursday night blues sessions at Alexander's on fortnightly basis from 20 January when the Junkhouse Dog Blues Band are on.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Nick
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 06:02 PM

First album I ever bought with 32/6d of my own money was John Mayall's Crusade in 1967 when I was 13 from the Pop Inn record shop in South Woodford. I'm still not sure whether I bought it to fit in or because I liked it at the time. Retrospectively I still like it. When I bought Laurel Canyon I was pilloried because it was a crap album (it's better than Crusade) but I still have it and 'Long Gone Midnight' is great

BB King live at ... has the sax sound that makes my heart sing and was given to me at that time (in glorious mono) - he sax player has jnr after his name so must be good. Night Life - sing the first line and the sax player just does that noise... and at some point BB slides down from the 6th with bite... ah nostalgia

Before that I have a recollection of visiting a friend of my dad's whose son was hugely into Robert Johnson and 'real' acoustic blues.

Hard for an 8 - 12 year old so I appreciate people have different worlds whose first blues influence (and appreciation) was the playing of Mississippi Hurt or Rev Gary Davis and that they enjoyed it at that time. It comes from a very different place than me because I was somewhere between the Beatles and the Monkees and the Stones at that time and found Robert Johnson a very alien place.

Mike Ravens Blues hour on a sunday was an interesting place to be though as a sop to the depression of Sing something simple

So Robert Johnson did change my life - it was also over a snooker table which also figured - but I didn't immediately warm to the sound. I think I was aware though that other more sophisticated / important / whatever people liked it was worth exploring.

A bit like jazz. And folk. And garage.

I lied about the garage but only because I didn't understand it.

What somewhere along the line I was lucky enough to be allowed to enjoy was music.

Latterly I saw Albert Collins before he died play with Clapton, Buddy Guy, Robert Kray and Jimmy Ray Vaughan and realised what I loved about blues. That was Albert Collins walking on and going 'OK?' and playing one note with that tone and everything else being irrelevant.

I still have the shiver down my spine as I write this.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 06:22 PM

When I was 14 in '63, growing up in Queens NY, in my sophomore year in High School at Bronx Science. I fell in with a bunch of older students, guitar pickers(and radicals).   Sometime that fall there was going to be a show at Hunter College, Brownie & Sonny, Rev. Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, and Sister Rosetta Tharp. It was 2 bucks, and though my parents forbade me to go(they didn't want me wandering the streets of Manhattan at a late hour at that tender age).   I went anyway. How could I not? I was grounded for weeks afterwards. It was worth it. I've been hooked ever since. Later I got know Terry & McGhee (opened for them at Folk City), got to change Reverend Gary's guitar strings backstage at the Gaslight once. Mississippi John was dead a year by the time I hit the Village. It's still the music that 1st turned me on to the beauty of guitar.


Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: richd
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 06:39 PM

Despair, disaster and powerlesness and Paul Olivers 'Story of the Blues' at ehe exact moment i needed it.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 07:07 PM

One is tempted to answer - well it certainly was never going to be Villa.

I think the first bluesman I was ever aware of was Josh white . i wasn't keen on his spirituals. the blues always seemed the best part of his repertoire. He was a minstrel - I always liked that - he could do olde English and Irish songs.   He could do most things pretty damn well.

When i was a schoolkid I always found the black Americans abit difficult to identify with - apart from Broonzy and Sonny and Brownie. Robert Johnson, Blind lemon, Leadbelly, Snooks Eaglin - they seemed impenetrable. i heard people rave about them but I didn't see it.

The ones that made me want to play the blues were - Koerner, Ray and Glover and dave Van Ronk.

In the late 60's and 1970's i was a huge fan of the late Gerry Lockran. never missed a gig, and I gouged grooves in Lightning Hopkins records learning his licks.

About that time, Stefan grossman's little books and instruction records broke down the mystery of blues playing to a lot of us.

and even later the cleaned up recordings made me appreciate Mr Johnson and all those others that I couldn't get my head around earlier.

Somewhere along that line came the Beatles getting us to listen to Chuck Berry, and the Chess compilation albums.

I think that's about it.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Joe_F
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 07:44 PM

I've always had them.


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Subject: RE: What brought you to the blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 07:44 PM

Shoot, ya'll... We all grew up listenin' to the blues 'cause ya'll know that "the blues had a baby and they called it rock 'n roll"...

Sure, there were some folks listenin' to the Brownie and Sonny 'er Howlin' Wolf but not as many listenin' to the Stones 'er Dylan... Dylan has always been a bluesman at heart... I mean, his song structure is steeped in the blues... Yeah, Dylan listened to Brownie and Sonny and Tommy Johnson... The Stones did, too... That was a long time ago...

I didn't listen to 'um until much later when Chess Brothers started puttin' out "the real blues"...

As fir my own transformation??? Late 90's when I thought I had played everything I ever wanted to play and so I delved into playin' the blues and that meant learnin' about lotta folks I had maybe or maybe not heard...

Since then, it's been purdy much balls to the wall blues and not even purdy Piedmont stuff but hardcore Mississippi stuff... Ain't all that interested in playing European folk songs...

B~

B~


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