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Have blacks rejected blues?

josepp 06 Jan 11 - 07:36 PM
maple_leaf_boy 06 Jan 11 - 08:00 PM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Jan 11 - 08:12 PM
Lox 06 Jan 11 - 08:14 PM
Leadfingers 06 Jan 11 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,Goose Gander 06 Jan 11 - 08:25 PM
Bobert 06 Jan 11 - 08:25 PM
josepp 06 Jan 11 - 08:34 PM
GUEST,Goose Gander 06 Jan 11 - 08:37 PM
GUEST,Goose Gander 06 Jan 11 - 08:39 PM
Janie 06 Jan 11 - 08:40 PM
josepp 06 Jan 11 - 08:50 PM
Bobert 06 Jan 11 - 09:20 PM
Bobert 06 Jan 11 - 09:39 PM
katlaughing 06 Jan 11 - 09:47 PM
Phil Cooper 06 Jan 11 - 09:53 PM
GUEST 06 Jan 11 - 10:24 PM
GUEST 06 Jan 11 - 10:24 PM
Bobert 06 Jan 11 - 10:51 PM
josepp 06 Jan 11 - 10:54 PM
josepp 06 Jan 11 - 11:07 PM
GUEST,Goose Gander 06 Jan 11 - 11:12 PM
GUEST,Goose Gander 06 Jan 11 - 11:14 PM
Bobert 06 Jan 11 - 11:17 PM
Bobert 06 Jan 11 - 11:25 PM
Janie 06 Jan 11 - 11:31 PM
josepp 07 Jan 11 - 12:41 AM
Lonesome EJ 07 Jan 11 - 01:19 AM
The Fooles Troupe 07 Jan 11 - 01:52 AM
Gibb Sahib 07 Jan 11 - 05:04 AM
Will Fly 07 Jan 11 - 05:13 AM
Little Hawk 07 Jan 11 - 06:09 AM
GUEST,matt milton 07 Jan 11 - 07:08 AM
Jack Blandiver 07 Jan 11 - 07:33 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 07 Jan 11 - 07:42 AM
Bobert 07 Jan 11 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,Neil D 07 Jan 11 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,glueman 07 Jan 11 - 08:42 AM
Bobert 07 Jan 11 - 09:09 AM
Richard Bridge 07 Jan 11 - 09:22 AM
Keith A of Hertford 07 Jan 11 - 09:27 AM
Keith A of Hertford 07 Jan 11 - 10:31 AM
Bobert 07 Jan 11 - 11:16 AM
Richard Bridge 07 Jan 11 - 11:44 AM
Bobert 07 Jan 11 - 12:26 PM
Taconicus 07 Jan 11 - 01:24 PM
dwditty 07 Jan 11 - 01:57 PM
Lonesome EJ 07 Jan 11 - 02:32 PM
GUEST 07 Jan 11 - 05:56 PM
Lonesome EJ 07 Jan 11 - 06:09 PM
Bobert 07 Jan 11 - 06:17 PM
Janie 07 Jan 11 - 07:19 PM
josepp 07 Jan 11 - 07:34 PM
josepp 07 Jan 11 - 07:37 PM
Bobert 07 Jan 11 - 07:55 PM
gnu 07 Jan 11 - 08:10 PM
dwditty 07 Jan 11 - 08:20 PM
dwditty 07 Jan 11 - 08:24 PM
Desert Dancer 07 Jan 11 - 11:18 PM
Bobert 08 Jan 11 - 08:34 AM
Bobert 08 Jan 11 - 08:38 AM
pattyClink 08 Jan 11 - 11:18 AM
josepp 08 Jan 11 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,Goose Gander 08 Jan 11 - 01:50 PM
josepp 08 Jan 11 - 02:41 PM
Goose Gander 08 Jan 11 - 02:45 PM
GUEST,jeff 08 Jan 11 - 02:51 PM
Goose Gander 08 Jan 11 - 02:52 PM
josepp 08 Jan 11 - 02:53 PM
josepp 08 Jan 11 - 03:13 PM
Goose Gander 08 Jan 11 - 03:28 PM
josepp 08 Jan 11 - 03:33 PM
Goose Gander 08 Jan 11 - 05:03 PM
josepp 08 Jan 11 - 05:07 PM
Goose Gander 08 Jan 11 - 05:13 PM
josepp 08 Jan 11 - 10:47 PM
Bobert 08 Jan 11 - 11:14 PM
katlaughing 08 Jan 11 - 11:53 PM
Janie 09 Jan 11 - 12:03 AM
Janie 09 Jan 11 - 12:05 AM
josepp 09 Jan 11 - 12:16 AM
Goose Gander 09 Jan 11 - 12:24 AM
josepp 09 Jan 11 - 01:10 AM
Goose Gander 09 Jan 11 - 05:15 AM
Smedley 09 Jan 11 - 05:44 AM
Will Fly 09 Jan 11 - 06:00 AM
josepp 09 Jan 11 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,erbert 09 Jan 11 - 12:09 PM
Bobert 09 Jan 11 - 12:15 PM
maeve 09 Jan 11 - 12:24 PM
Bobert 09 Jan 11 - 12:26 PM
GUEST 10 Jan 11 - 07:48 AM
Bobert 10 Jan 11 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,Wesley S 10 Jan 11 - 09:27 AM
GUEST,Patsy 10 Jan 11 - 10:53 AM
GUEST,Neil D 11 Jan 11 - 09:29 AM
Andrez 12 Jan 11 - 06:19 AM
mayomick 25 Jan 11 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,Zoe Bremer 25 Jan 11 - 01:40 PM
Bobert 25 Jan 11 - 03:37 PM
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Subject: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: josepp
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 07:36 PM

I'm undecided on the issue. Sometimes it seems that they have but other times my faith gets restored.

I am distressed by the popularity of rap, which I think is largely garbage. I mean, I like the DJs who can operate the turn-tables with lightning speed and all that--it's not easy to do (I tried it once). But I'm not talking about that kind of stuff. I'm talking about the rap that is made strictly to sell millions of copies to idiots who wouldn't know real music if it sodomized them in the shower.

This stuff where you hear this chintzy group of electronic tones that just repeats over and over and over again to a beat so overblown that it shakes the pictures off your walls when some asshole drives by at 3 am blasting it from his car. It has no substance, no soul. How could anyone like it? Kids tell me that I'm just too old and maybe I am but I listen to a very wide variety of music and I am a huge fan of noise and avant-garde artists which most people can't stand. I'm not some out-of-touch old fart who can't change. It's just that this shit isn't music and it has no substance. Anybody could do it because it doesn't take talent.

And this stuff they call R&B today, where did this shit come from?? That's not R&B. R&B is Big Joe Turner, Roy Brown, Louis Jordan, Todd Rhodes, Bill Doggett, LaVern Baker, Amos Milburn, the Ravens, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Junior Parker, Fats Domino, Ruth Brown, Johnny Ace, Big Jay McNeely, Ray Charles, T-Bone Walker, Bo Diddley, Hank Ballard, etc. This new shit doesn't move me at all. It sounds like crap, quite frankly. Real R&B is booty-shaking stuff. I won't waste 2 seconds watching booty shaking to a rhythm box mechanized beat. There's nothing sexy there.

However, with that said, I still see blacks who like the old blues and not always older folks. I know a black guitarist who idolizes Hendrix (actually I know 2) but this one guy, I've known a long time and he said once that while he'd rather listen to Hendrix than the Beatles, he'd definitely take the Beatles over 50 Cent any day of the week.

But then I've heard black blues musicians and DJs and what not complain that blacks have deserted the blues scene and there's some truth in that. You go to a blues show and the audience is mostly white--often entirely white.

Hendrix, after all, was HUGELY popular among white kids and largely distrusted by blacks in his day. There are blacks now who get into him but he was largely distrusted by blacks in his day which he never understood because he was a black man playing the black man's music and it blew his mind that blacks looked down on him for what he was doing.

T-Bone Walker spent the last decade or so of his career wondering where the hell his black audience scampered off to. He wondered if had said or did something to offend them because one day they were just gone and suddenly his audience is white kids who had learned about him and regarded him as a legend (which he was and is). He didn't mind that but he could never figure out why his black audience died on him so suddenly and completely.

Is it just that times changed and tastes changed with them or is there a hostility of many blacks towards blues (and I don't mean the religious folk who thought of it as the Devil's music)?

What are your thoughts and experiences on this matter?


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: maple_leaf_boy
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 08:00 PM

I don't like rap either. I live next to a convenience store, and some
people leave their stereos on while they're in there. You can hear them
a mile away. Let's say they're 20 years old, by the time they're 30,
they'll be deaf.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 08:12 PM

I'm bemused by a certain Easter Festival that insists that their young audience want music played at min 120Db - Facebook comments include "If my ears aren't ringing, I want my money back!". Such levels long term will guarantee deafness.

I suspect MLB, that the rest of use are condemned to them still playing such loud levels when they get older, for then they will need to up the volume since they are deaf ....

"It has no substance, no soul. How could anyone like it?"


It's all they know. They have never had a desire or need to stretch, so they will not try anything new.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Lox
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 08:14 PM

We used to have a poster on here of African origin who went into some depth to explain that in Black youth culture, once something has been done, they are keen to leave it behind and move on to the next thing.

Its away of always beng one step ahead of the stereotype and one step further away from history.

Losing blues in the process is a bit like throwing the baby out with the bath water, but the bathwater was pretty foul and is taking a long tme to bail out.

There are obviously many great and talented current black blues and jazz artists, and many more fans, and the above is a very wide and sweeping generalization, but it is a useful one.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 08:20 PM

It would seem there are more competent white blues musos these days , and the black guys are into more progressive stuff


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 08:25 PM

I suppose, in the same why that 'whites' have rejected ballad singing (with a some exceptions, of course).

Fat Possum records has done an excellent job documenting the music of blacks who have not rejected the blues. Check out R.L. Burnside, etc.

Or listen to the very much young and alive Blind Boy Paxton (though much of his material is actually pre-blues) . . .

Ragged But Right


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 08:25 PM

Some have, some haven't...

Take yerself down to Clarksdale, Ms. any Saturday afternoon to the Delta Blues Museum and check out the young black kids playin' that Mississippi groove back in the band room...

'Er stop by Archie Edwards Barbershop in the Washington, D.C. area and check out the number of good black bluesmen, young and old...

Check out Corey Harris, Guy Davis, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Miles Spicer, Phil Wiggins, the Burnsides, Kenny Kimbrough, Terry Bean... I mean, lotta black folk, young and old, still playing their "grand daddy's blues"...

Yeah, lotta white folk (me included) playin' it, too...

Ain't all hip-hop 'er rap... Lotta blues being played, too...

So, no, it ain't being rejected by younger black any more than doo-wop ain't being played by too many young white folks...

Times change... Not to worry... The blues is in good hands...

B~


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: josepp
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 08:34 PM

///So, no, it ain't being rejected by younger black any more than doo-wop ain't being played by too many young white folks...///

Doo-wop is black.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 08:37 PM

Junior Kimbrough All Night Long


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 08:39 PM

R.L. Burnside Old Black Mattie


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Janie
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 08:40 PM

What Bobert said.

I also think there is more to rap and hiphop than most of us old folkies realize. I'm 59 with a 17 year old kid, which means I listen to a lot of music I would not otherwise. He isn't much into rap or hiphop but does listen to some, and after listening with him over time, I no longer reject it out of hand.

What I have really come to understand is that rap and hiphop are essentially urban grassroots music.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: josepp
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 08:50 PM

I also remember that movie "Crossroads" from the mid-80s. A white kid goes with Wille Brown to find a lost song by Robert Johnson. Of course, the Willie Brown they depicted in the movie never existed. The real Willie Brown was a helluva guitarist and not a harpist.

Ralph Macchio's guitar parts were played by Ry Cooder--white guy. Then they have this guitar battle between Macchio and Steve Vai--two white guys. So Ralph wins and now he's the greatest bluesman of all time or something--some white Italin guy.

I know they did all that because the movie was aimed at a white audience. If I made "Crossroads" it would have been a mockumentary detailing the lives of the old bluesmen, sharecropping, Jim Crow, lynch laws, drinking canned heat, fleeing to Chicago, the birth of electric blues and so on.

But apparently Hollywood felt that such a movie would not likely garner much of a black or white audience although it would become a cult favorite in a few years time.

You can aim a movie squarely at a black audience and still have a very successful movie--ask Tyler Perry. But that no black film makers have really tried or at least succeeded at making a great movie about the birth of blues is telling.

I learned blues mainly from books by Mel Bay, Kenny Sultan and Stefan Grossman so I often wonder where blacks went. But then I'll meet some black guy who plays blues like nobody's business and it seems that maybe it's not so hopeless after all. Then again I met this guy named Robert Jones who used to host a blues show on public radio. He's black but he said he learned blues from Mel Bay's big note songbook. He said that people think he learned it from his grandaddy or something but he didn't apparently. But Mr. Jones lost his blues program which was a real shame but I don't know if it's because people don't care to listen to blues or because they couldn't compete with XM--I listen to Bluesville quite a lot but I miss the old Blues from the Lowlands program that Robert hosted. So I don't know what to think about it.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 09:20 PM

Tell ya' what... Go down to Memphis fir either the IBC (international Blues Challenge) or the W.C. Handy Awards and check out the real blues scene... Lotta black blues players learnt it up from the likes of R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, etc...

Couple of blues bands to watch this IBC??? Check out the Bush League outta Richmond, Va. or mah main man Clarence "The Bluesman" Turner outta Washington, D.c... These folks learnt it up the right way... From the old time black blues players...

Sorry you had to learnt it up from Mel Bay... I sho nuff didn't... I learnt it from Sparky Rucker who learnt it from Rev. Davis hisself...


Like I said... Not to worry yer purdy head, Joez... The blues is being handled by both blacks and whites...

As fir doo-wop??? That was blacks and whites, too... Might of fact the best known doo-wopper is Bouzer... And hes a white guy...

Now Bluesville radio??? Yeah, it may be a little tilted toward more white players but it is tilted... If I had me a show it wouldn't be Bluesville... But that ain't a black/white thing... Just different tastes in blues...

B~


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 09:39 PM

BTW, joez... I think I woulda liked yer movie, too... Do a little research on the Fat Possum bluesmen and you'll find some interesting stories...

I was at the late Sam Carr's (Google him up0) house about 8 year ago down in Mississippi and he was talkin' about workin' the door at the juke joints... Purdy interesting...

Lotta stuff out there to tell the stories... Alan Lomax got lotta of it recorded back long time ago in the jukes, penitentiaries, on the streets, etc... It's all in the Library of Congress... Hundreds of hours of stories, blues, field hollers...

Lotta good books out, too... "Honeyboy" Edwards has one... Alija Wald...I mean, all that stuff out there...

BTW, you talk about Willie Brown... Couple interesting things about Willie Brown... First, there are no known photographs of him and second, when he died in 1948, he had been playin' with Son House and upon Willie's death, Son laid his geetar down. moved to New York and worked as a porter on the New York railroad...

Like I said. lotta stuff out there...

B~


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 09:47 PM

Well said, Janie. My girls turned me onto hip-hop and rap...there's a lot of good stuff out there. Some noted in a thread a few years ago. I heard a great interview on NPR, the other day, of Jay-Z. Queen Latifah has some great stuff, too.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 09:53 PM

Listen to Guy Davis' song "Death of Uncle Tom." Hope I got the title right from his Skunkmellow CD.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 10:24 PM

Excellent thread and very informative.
Ad.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 10:24 PM

Oops!! that was me.
Beer


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 10:51 PM

Thanks, Goose Gander, fir them links... R.L. is my absolute hero... I mean, I know that Fred McDowell is like the grand daddy of the "North Mississippi" groove, 'er at least as far as I can track it back but R.L. has more BS to him... That, to me, is part of any live show... But these folks led the way and the folks who we have learned from...

Always nice to see videos...

B~


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: josepp
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 10:54 PM

I don't feel bad learning blues from Mel Bay or Kenny Sultan--I learned it at least. I can listen to any old recording and I know what he's doing and know what tuning he's using and I know what key he's in. I learned a lot from those books. I learned bottleneck from the Stefan Grossman book and, again, I can listen to another slider and I know what he's doing and what tuning he's using and all that. If you read the books and listen to what these guys are saying, you get the hang of it. The rest is up to you. Once I got the rudiments of it down, I can try my hand at John Lee Hooker or Patton stuff without feeling intimidated and totally out of my league (though I may be). The books gave me the confidence to give it a go without any real tutor to help me along.

There's a real bluesman around here (and, yeah, he's black) who likes how I play. When I told him I just fake it after learning it from some books he just shrugged and said it didn't matter. You gotta do what you gotta do if you want to play the blues. I guess that's true.

As for doo-wop, all the earliest bands were black. My favorite doo-wop singer, I guess, is Jimmy Beaumont. That guy could belt it out like no one else. My favorite doo-wop band, though, was the Cadillacs--they knew what the hell they were doing.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: josepp
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 11:07 PM

I thought Willie Brown died in '52. I could be wrong. I know son House laid his guitar down for a while and I know Howlin' Wolf was really pissed about it. And, yes, I know there are no photos of Willie Brown.

As for Lomax, I have his prison recordings, the Muddy Waters recordings, one called "Negro Blues and Hollers" and I have a shit load of the Speir artists. I think I have a little of everyone--Garfield Akers, Geeshie Wiley, Tommy Johnson, Pig Norwood, Tommy McClennan, Rube Lacey, Henry Thomas, Frank Stokes, Bo Carter, Lucille Bogan, Memphis Minnie, William Harris, Ishmon Bracey. A little of everything. I got a lot of John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Blind Blake, Son House, Robert Johnson, B.B., Lightnin' Hopkins, Patton, Blind Lemon, Willie McTell. And so on. gotta git what you can git.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 11:12 PM

R.L. Burnside Shake 'Em On Down


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 11:14 PM

R.L. Burnside Jumper Hanging on the Line


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 11:17 PM

Chill, bro...

Ain't no competition here... We just came to the crossroads from different directions...

Ain't about black or white... It's about gettin' into the groove...

I played every Saturday afternoon at an old barbershop in Northeast Washington, D.C. with the old black blues players fir pushing 10 years... Didn't miss 5 jams during them years... Learned alot... That's just my door into the blues...

Different stroke 4 different folks...

Ain't no b-ball game, 'r nuthin'...

B~


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 11:25 PM

"Shake 'um on down" is the shit's ... I heard R.L. do it about 15 years ago... I like his version on, I think, is the "Burnside on Burnside" CD... No matter, he kills that song... I played with his son, Cedrick, as some picnic in Como a lotta years back... It was at the late Otha Turner's (Mr. Othar) Goat Roast... Good player, too...

B~


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Janie
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 11:31 PM

josepp,

don't know where you live, but I live in the North Carolina Piedmont. Lots of good things happening with Blues here among the old, the young, and the in-between, and with people of different races.

With nothing to back me up, I venture to opine that there are, in the USA, at least as many young, African-American musicians playing old time or traditional blues in the style of old-time or traditional blues as there are young, WASP musicians playing or singing traditional Child ballads in the style of traditional British Isles singers and musicians.

I think you are making an erroneous assumption that those who do not play traditional music, regardless of traditional genre, do not know, understand or value the roots and influences of the music they play.

This is a folk music site. Almost by definition, those of us who are drawn here have a strong affinity for the older forms of whatever music we like. We are focused on the roots more than the branches. Keep in mind that without the leafy and diverse branches, the roots die.

I suggest, respectfully, that you examine your assumptions.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: josepp
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 12:41 AM

///With nothing to back me up, I venture to opine that there are, in the USA, at least as many young, African-American musicians playing old time or traditional blues in the style of old-time or traditional blues as there are young, WASP musicians playing or singing traditional Child ballads in the style of traditional British Isles singers and musicians.///

I'll bet there are more WASPs doing blues than doing that stuff.

////I think you are making an erroneous assumption that those who do not play traditional music, regardless of traditional genre, do not know, understand or value the roots and influences of the music they play.////

I wasn't aware I made that assumption. Thanks for pointing it out. And when one of you rap lovers wants to blow down my street at 2 in the morning blaring blues at 120 dB instead of that other crap please feel free. And I'd rather not attend a blues festival if I'm going to be there with people walking around with their asses hanging out of their pants.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 01:19 AM

Has anyone seen a group of young black musicians playing any sort of instrumental music in the last ten years? Just asking.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 01:52 AM

The actual percentage of people playing instruments in any 'Golden Age' of the past in any genre you want is probably about the same as it always was.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 05:04 AM

I'm undecided on the issue. Sometimes it seems that they have but other times my faith gets restored.

LOL. Ah yes, this "issue"! I wish you luck in coming to a decision!


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Will Fly
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 05:13 AM

There's another aspect to this which no-one seems to have commented on - which is the younger musicians, black and white, who are taking the blues forms and extending them by sampling them or incorporating the music into different forms.

In the UK we have Little Axe - founded by Skip McDonald - who incorporates the spoken words of Howling Wolf into a modern groove. It's wonderful stuff and I thoroughly recommend it.

In the US there are music communes like Pig In A Can where old black bluesmen jam with young white musicians to create a different environment.

Have a listen!

I'm not a great lover of rap or hip-hop but, for a significant number of young black people, it's their self-expression - their way of staking out a musical claim. We've all done it - just in different ways.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 06:09 AM

The public (in general) are not calling the agenda these days, the mass media and the corporate marketers are calling the agenda.

Accordingly, the sheep eat whatever is put in the trough. At the moment it is mostly Rap, New Country (soft rock with a twang and a stetson), and vapid pop tunes that are being put in the trough. Serious protest and intelligent social comment songs and all kinds of brilliant stuff are being written and performed live by musicians but they are NOT being given airplay by the mass media.

Somebody in the business or the government made that decision. The public did not. They just eat whatever is put in the mass media trough, same as they go out to Walmart and buy whatever is made in Cnina. That's what sheep do. Only these sheep don't even realize that they are sheep. They still think they are "free"!


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 07:08 AM

Has anyone on here heard Samuel James?
Hear him at:
myspace.com/sugarsmallhouse

He's in his early 30s, has recorded two albums, second one came out in mid-2009. He plays blues on a classical guitar and sometimes on banjo.

Someone else already mentioned Blind Boy Paxton.

Carolina Chocolate Drops obviously aren't blues, but they're bluesy roots music.

I think, just as there are more and more black kids playing in indie rock bands (previously the preserve of the white middle class) we're starting to see more Afro-Americans checking out the music of the past. I have to say, I think it corresponds with the rise of an Afro-American middle class and increasing affluence: for the simple reason that hip-hop and soul sell much much better (playing folk and blues isn't exactly a ticket to fame and riches).

Over here in the UK, there's the one-man-band that is Lewis Floyd Henry. Or Errol Linton. But in the UK, it's different again, as black musical heritage is going to be Afro-Caribbean or African. So reggae and ska and calypso are more likely to be yr interests, not blues.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 07:33 AM

Only these sheep don't even realize that they are sheep. They still think they are "free"!

Once upon a time the media filled the trough with Broadside Ballads and other truly popular songs which have since been reimagined as Folk on account of the extent to which the sheep absorbed them into their culture. Same is true of all Popular Idioms - even Folk if it wasn't for the autistic righteousness that invariably attends it. Music lives & breathes - it does what it does; listen & rejoice.

Doo-Wop derives from Gospel Quartet, leading to R & B and other MOBOs; Zappa celebrated this in terms of pure folklore and Sun Ra was field-recording it Chicago in the 50s and writing songs to suit. Rap was always part of the vernacular narrative scheme and long may it remain so. Tell 'em, about it Tyrone!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6qbSHKzcmI

*

As for noisy car music, the other day our neighbourhood peace was shattered by booming hip-hop / R&B from a car that pulled up outside our house. Needless to say it was just my darling wife coming home from work, clearing her head after an arduous day with Flight of the Conchords' There's too many mutha uckas uckin' with my shi-


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 07:42 AM

I can recollect talking to several black people - jazz fans actually - who were uncomfortable with that early blues music. It was at a jazz concert in Camden town hall, and I was telling of my enthusiasm for Big Bill Broonzy.

I thnk it something we're only just coming to recognise about English folk music. Sexist language, sexual bragging, glorification of drunkeness, violence to womwen, etc....

You can still hear various characters bleating on about political correctness being bad on mudcat = and god knows some of my songs have been the target of the pc brigade.

I can remember though the sleeve notes of the old Blues Project album, there was an article from The Little Sandy review saying that black people nowadays had discarded this music and were looking forward to a 'Baldwinian future'- whatever James Baldwin promised for the future I can't remember.

Important to bear in mind that that article was nearly fifty years ago now. Times move on and perspectives change.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 08:13 AM

There's an annual event that lasts an entire week at Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia called "Blues Week"... People come from all over to learn from older, seasoned bluesmen... It's called "Blues Week" and I believe than anyone who doesn't think that young people of all races ain't interested in the blues needs to come aqnd check it out... I mean, hundreds of young people, many of them black gettin' learnt up by the likes of the late John Cephas or John Jackson, or Sparky Rucker or Phil Wiggins...

Or, as I mentioned earlier, the "Delta Blues Museum" in Clarksdale, Ms where they have a "band room" where oln any given day of the week there are young black kids, sometimes as young a 6 years old, in there playin' ol' timey blues...

And between these two venues you don't have anyone with baggy pants hangin' off 'um...

I'd also recommend the IBC, International Blues Challenge, which will be held the 1st week of February in Memphis... Lotta young black blues solo and band acts there, as well... No baggy pants there, either...

I mean, as Janie pointed out, when you get into the rural areas of Virginia, NC, WV, Tn, Kentucy and Mississippi you are in some areas where there is a deep appreciation for roots music...

Ain't like somethin' I just heard about... Been there...

But the most amazin' blues get together is, as I pointed out, Mr. Otha Turner's annual "Goat Roast" held in August way back in the sticks outside Como, Ms. where people of all races get down with every conceivable style of blues... Somethin' to behold...

B~


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 08:38 AM

At the last Blues festival I went to there was a fair distribution of white and black fans and not a lot of young people of either race. The majority of young black people aren't all that into Blues or Jazz but the majority of young white people I know aren't into Rock and Roll either. The up side is that with hundreds of millions of Americans it doesn't take a majority of people to keep any musical tradition alive.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 08:42 AM

Context is everything. Rap only enters my world through the medium of hatchback cars with a sound system that resembles furniture being dropped and a fleeting vocal line that implies I'm gravely in the wrong somehow.

So long as it doesn't linger longer than the Doppler effect of an enthusiastically driven Corsa and I can live with its accusatory subtext and bass shuffle but for choice, gimme Robert Johnson every time.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 09:09 AM

I used to be anti-rap myself until...

...about 4 years ago when my son came to visit... He lives in Portland, Or., and I knew he was into rap... He'd been here in rural Virginia a few days and I had a performance comin' up that Saturday... That Friday night he surprised me with a 3 minute long rap he had written about his observations of folks around these parts... Now ya' have to consider that my son looks alot like alot of street people in inner cities with body piercin' and black clothes but here he was doing this rap he called "Not much different" (between us) and so I figured, "Hey, why not have him come up on stage and do this rap" and said, "Yeah, lets do it" so...

I started into a traditional country blues song and then slowly moved from strings to percussion using the geetar as a drum as he made his way to the stage and then turned the geetar over and used it exclusively as a drum as he went into his rap and people really did enjoy it... I thought it worked very well, too' 'cause rap, like the blues, can be delivered in many different forms and both have one thing in common and that is they are each a form of Black "folk music"...

I think it's disingenuous to pigeon hole styles of music as music for "just" this or that portion of the population... I think that when we do that we are robbing ourselves...

That's MO...

B~


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 09:22 AM

"Sexist language, sexual bragging, glorification of drunkeness, violence to womwen, etc" - sounds a lot like many many types of music, Al.

However, I came to this thread to ponder on one thing. Azizi used to make the point (possibly correctly) that modern African-Americans avoided traditional blues because it reflected their untermensch status in the bad old days: I paraphrase I hope fairly.

But there seems to be a bit of a boom in klezmer and so on music. What difference would explain modern African-Americans fleeing the heritage of their oppression, but modern Jews not fleeing theirs, that of the music spanning hundreds of years while they were excluded and/or ghettoised and/or vilified in word? Is the explanation simply the difference between historical slave status and historical non-slave status?


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 09:27 AM

I googled up some images of concert audiences.
They all look very white as far as I went.
http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/85230237/Redferns
http://www.guttersnipenews.com/2010/08/15/salmon-arm-roots-blues-festival-2010/
http://www.modernguitars.com/archives/002078.html


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 10:31 AM

http://www.flickr.com/photos/96376965@N00/71577368


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 11:16 AM

From my years not only playing blues but also being around black blues players I have a different take on the ol' blues being the music of oppressed people...

Yes, black people were terribly oppressed but it was the blues that was an important part of their solidarity against the oppressors... It was the the Saturday night jukes and house parties where the blues was played that was their peace... Son House talks about this on a viseo I have of him from around 1964... Even though he is torn with the blues being "the devils music" he knows that on Saturday night it is the music that represents a celebration of surviving another week on Boss Hog's plantations...

Lotta folks who don't know the blues associate it with having the blues... Well, that ain't so... Blues music ain't sad... It joyfull... Country music is alot sadder than than the blues...

B~


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 11:44 AM

While I stepped out of the blues a long time ago, Bobert, I think I would have agreed with that. More, even, than solidarity I would have suggested it displayed a defiance, an indomitability and a kind of superiority - but that was then.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 12:26 PM

"Defiance"... Yes, Richard, much better word for it...


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Taconicus
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 01:24 PM

Wow Keith, the images of audiences at the concerts in the UK and up in Calgary look "very white"--who would have expected that! (Is there a smiley for an eye-roll?)

Don't you think perhaps audiences might be expected to reflect the general population where they're held? Perhaps the audience at a blues festival in Biloxi, Mississippi might have a different "complexion"--do you think?


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: dwditty
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 01:57 PM

The Willie Brown confusion may stem from the fact that thewre were several Willie Browns playing Delta Blues.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 02:32 PM

This is strictly my point of view based on observation. Blues popularity probably reached a peak in the 50s and early 60s with Chess Records and the presence on the scene of the Chicago Blues Greats. This popularity was primarily focussed in black listeners. It didn't reach a large white demographic until it crossed over in the mid to late 60s (yes, I know you were into Muddy, Lightnin, Son House, etc way before that...I'm talking about mass popularity). Taking this into consideration, Blues music is the music of people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. Do we really expect that people in their teens and twenties are going to follow our taste in music?
Among blacks, I believe the Blues is Grandpa's music. Hip Hop is what they're listening to. Do you need guitar heroes in Hip Hop? Nope. You have seen Hip Hop acts: one guy playing sample background riffs on a machine, one guy scratching a record, one guy posing and expounding on something, one guy singing during pauses in the expounding, 2 or 3 other guys saying "yeah...come on, come on...". Maybe a drummer. What in this would lead somebody to the blues?
And sorry, Little Hawk, I don't buy the corporate packaging sold to the ignorant masses bullshit. This is dance music, whether you or I like it or not, and that's what young people, especially young black people, want to listen to. It's really no tragedy. Blues won't die, because it has primal power, but it will have to be rediscovered by future generations who will uncover this primal power and mine it like some forgotten mother lode.
The trend toward Hip Hop does bode ill for black instrumental music, and when I hear someone say there's no real difference in black popular music acts today compared to the 70s, for example...well, what color is the sky on your planet?


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 05:56 PM

I would say No: I just heard a re mixed version of "The Thrill is Gone" with a hip-hop mix but the music was Blues Blues is organic it adapts to the situation and experience From Cotton plantations to mid west cities to housing projects,the experiences are reflected in the music
Also we have this incredible crop of young country blues singers: Keb-Mo, Alvin Youngblod Hart, Corey Harris, Chris-Thomas King, Guy Davis (son of actor Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee) and, Eric Bibb (son of folk singer Leon Bibb) The blues is very much alive in the African American Community


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 06:09 PM

"young" country blues singers...

Keb Mo is 59. Alvin Youngblood Hart is 48. Guy Davis is 58. Corey Harris is 41. Chris Thomas King is 48.

How about that kid, Robert Cray? 57


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 06:17 PM

Well, if ya' wanta see the new batch of youngin's then yer gonna have to head down (up, over) to Memphis for the IBC... Won't be any shortage, I can assure you of that... Last year they hosted over 120 bands/soloists... These are the up-and-comers... And a good number will be black performers...

B~


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Janie
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 07:19 PM

It is a good conversation you have started here, josepp. This is turning into another of those "why I love Mudcat" threads where I learn alot from people sharing not only information and knowledge, but different perspectives.

Also, your reply to my post down thread sounded as if I may have offended you. That was not my intention, but I apologize if that was the effect.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: josepp
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 07:34 PM

Bobert, it's not the performers I'm talking about. You'll find black performers doing everything from blues to opera. It's the general population. I was in my 20s when I first heard rap. I hated it then, I hate it now. But that's not going to stop the general trend. It's been around way too long now and it is part of their lives, their upbringing. It's here to stay.

I think we have to accept that blues has lost relevance in the lives of the general black population and that whites are more likely to listen to and perform it these days.

Some black kids might find it again as they grow older but most won't. That's how it is.

It's equally true that rock music is disappearing--of course rock and blues are closely related. The combining of blues with other forms does not appeal to me but it's likely the only way it will survive in the public mind, the only way it will have a niche.

We seem to be drifting towards mediocrity--where taking the time to play an instrument seems too much to ask. Rap is instant gratification. We seem not to have patience anymore--we went it right now and it better be right now. RIGHT NOW!!!! And as technology keeps speeding the world up that's not going to change. Soon right now won't be fast enough for them.

I think Guitar-Hero is the stupidest thing ever. Why not buy a frigging guitar and learn to play it?? Be a real guitar hero. But look at its popularity. It's taken the place of air guitar. It's fast, it's fun, and buying and learning to play a real guitar is not. It's really sad.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: josepp
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 07:37 PM

Don't worry about it, Janie. My replies are often on the aggressive side. Bear with me.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 07:55 PM

Well, yeah, josez...

General trend is not only black kids not interested in the blues but white kids, too... I mean, no argument there... Not too many interested in lotta music...

I reckon where we might have a difference of opinion here, and maybe not, is a sweeping statement that "blacks rejecting blues" which ain't so...

I agree with EJ... We saw a resurgence of interest in the blues in the 60's but like many waves it's gone back out... Actually, that resurgence was of mostly white folkies... Heck, Son House was home in his apartment in New York having not played geetar since 1948 when in 1963 the folkies found him, plied him with a little lubricant and got him back playin' again...

And yeah, unless you are a blues player you'd think that no one likes it any more, especially younger black folks but that ain't the whole story...

I've presented a number of places where young black bluesmen are learnin' it up and into it... Archie Edwards Barber Shop, the IBC, W.C. Handys, Delta Blues Museum just to name a few...

I mean, unless yer into the blues purdy heavy then ya' ain't gonna know about these venues and if that's the case then, yeah, might be real easy to *assume* the black folks have "rejected blues" music... Just ain't that way, at all...

I mean, face it, because of the internet and CD's and downloads and YouTube and, and, and there are more style of music out there that are easily accessible so that does kinda spread the interests out...

B~


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: gnu
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 08:10 PM

LEJ... don't be afraid.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: dwditty
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 08:20 PM

lol, does it count if sometimes when my kids play my recordings for their friends, the friends think I am black? LISTEN


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: dwditty
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 08:24 PM

Rats: TRY AGAIN


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 11:18 PM

Just thought I'd link this short thread from 2004 with reviews of Elijah Wald's book, "Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues", as food for thought (fuel for the discussion?).

We picked up a copy recently and I'm about to start it.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 08:34 AM

Good book, D.D....

Okay, it kinda drags ina few places but Elijah is quite the blues historian...

B~


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 08:38 AM

BTW, Elijah was one of the "instructors" at "Blues Week" in Elkins, WV., this past summer...

B~


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: pattyClink
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 11:18 AM

While there is some interest in blues by black audiences in Mississippi, there is not as much as one would expect. The reason the kids play at the center in Clarksdale is there is such concern about this generation ditching the blues that there are special government art grants to conduct classes to be sure kids get exposure to their own heritage.

Delta blues was folk music, and like 'white' folk music, has been largely left behind by a population which is hell bent on fillin their ears with shiny pop crap. Fortunately there are still festivals and juke joints which carry the torch and a small population which values the 'real thing'. But it is worrisome and if you talk to any older blues musician they are quite concerned about how many will carry on after them.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: josepp
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 12:49 PM

We used to have a blues program on NPR in the 90s, not sure if it was "Blues After Hours" but the host was a black man with a really thick rural accent, he was hard to understand at times. But one morning, he was asking, "Why have the black boys laid the blues down?" He went on that most of the people picking the blues up were "white boys" (and increasingly girls--some pretty good white girls playing blues guitar these days) and he said there was nothing wrong with whites picking up the blues, "I just want to know why the black boys layin' it down." Some here might have heard the same broadcast.

So, it doesn't seem to me that blues is doing just fine. It's like the ragtime festivals, sure, you go there and everybody there loves ragtime and there's even little kids playing it on pianos and guitars and what not and that's great--but it is certainly NOT representative of the population or even close to it.

Will ragtime and blues survive? Yeeeeees. But they will survive in little pockets here and there but largely absent from the mainstream and it's the mainstream I'm primarily concerned with. Catholics always tell me that they were taught that "the road to hell is wide" and I think this is a prime example.

And the same goes for rock music. You know it's getting bad when you go on youtube to see some clip of a great rock song and the comments say something like, "My dad used to listen to this and these guys really rock. How come we don't have music like this anymore?" You didn't hear that in the 70s about Sinatra or something. Kids then had no interest in the older generation's music because there was so much going on in their own. Now? And this isn't just one or two clips, it's rampant.

On an Iggy Pop clip, somebody said if it wasn't for Iggy, we wouldn't have the stuff we have today to which someone else said, "Don't say that, we don't have anything today."

Something has to give. This can't go on. You can't satisfy the entire public with Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift all the time. And you can't team Bieber up with B. B. King and think you'll do anything other than make it worse. Something has to give.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 01:50 PM

Ed Archer used to make similar comments about the blues and young blacks on his radio program on KPFK in Los Angeles. But what can you do? Specific forms of folk music reflect specific times and places, when conditions change the music changes. I don't like most popular music, but I am immensely grateful that so much great music is available now, on recordings and in live performances. Think of it as an amazing recipe lots of people used to know, and now only a few still cook it. You can mourn the passage of time and inevitable change and decay, or you can enjoy your sweet potato pie.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: josepp
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 02:41 PM

I'm not content just to listen to the past. It's our culture that's at stake here. The last time this happened was the late 50s when the all rocknrollers dried up: Elvis went in the army, Little Richard became a preacher, the plane crash that killed Buddy, Bopper and Richie, Ray Charles and Fats started doing country, Chuck Berry went to jail, and Bill Haley, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and Jerry Lee Lewis all fled to England and Eddie would die there in '60. All you had for the most part were the lightweights and the white imitators who made a killing off swiping black folks' material and getting played on stations that wouldn't play the black artists whose stuff these white artists were swiping.

What happened next? It's called the British Invasion. But Britain today doesn't seem to be much better off than America--possibly even worse. So whose going to inject some life into our crumbling music scene?


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 02:45 PM

Paul Wine Jones Rob and Steal

Paul Wine JonesNobody But You

Blind Boy Paxton Frankie Medley


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 02:51 PM

My wife and I were invited to a bar-b-cue by a co-worker of hers who happens to be black. His wife asked that I bring my guitar as she knew I played. After the food, drink conversation, etc. the cds came on and eveyone danced or played catch w/water balloons.

We were the only white people there and my wife's co-worker turned off the dj booth and asked me to play. You can imagine the intimidation as I was well-versed in country blues, blues, celtic, bluegrass but have never played before an entirely black audience. And certainly never following a DJ set that no one wanted interrupted. We're all outside w/no PA system and I'm sitting on a picnic table. Everyone was looking at me like, "Ok, show us somethin', white boy.'

That being said I kicked it off w/Ray Charles' 'Hallelueah I Love Her So'. It was joy and shouting from the first verse on and every song no matter what the style was met with acceptance and enthusiasm. When I played Andy M. Stewart's 'Donegal Rain' one could only hear me and a nearby highway. Doing a ballad outdoors is a big risk, but there was rapt attention as the lyrics unfolded. I played 'til my fingers bled. About 2 hours...they wouldn't let me stop. Gospel, blues. Motown, Stax...everything. One guy hollered out, "Hey man, play somethin' about you." So, I played an original and it was met w/acceptance as well.

Afterward several youngsters came up and told me they had never appreciated their parents' and grandparents' 'grown folks' music' until they heard me. I was touched, somewhat embarassed and honored. Others thanked me for 'schoolin' their children. I was told several times I was 'a bad man'. High praise. Some of the kids wanted to hold my guitar and I let some flail away and showed others some chords. Who knows what will come of the musical exchange. It was all very human.

The point I'm trying to make is that alot of young people will reject their parents' 'everything' for one reason or another including music as they make their way through puberty, adolescence and young adulthood. It's a natual outgrowth of separation and self-definition. That bar-b-cue was a cultural revelation for me as I rejected Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Patty Page, etc. in lieu of the Beatles, Stones, Hendrix, John Hartford, etc. Then as a more experienced and matured musician I came back to 'the standards' w/a greater appreciation as I learned previously rejected material for 'casuals', etc.

So, I think it's a matter of exposure in the right venue or context that sets the lightbulb off, regardless. And it would seem it's not a rejection of the blues out of hand in as much as it's a lack of relevance to a given, young black person's experience and perception as the world relates to them and vice-versa.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 02:52 PM

It you think there was something wrong with Little Richard becoming a preacher then you don't know a damn thing about Little Richard. The preacher was in him, and it had to come out. The last time I heard him talk about himself, his sexuality, and his faith he said (I paraphrase) 'God knows who I am and he's all right with that.'

As far as American rock and roll (post-Elvis), how about Link Wray, the Sonics, the Wailers and hundreds of other artists?


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: josepp
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 02:53 PM

A good indication of how bad it's gotten: listen to the Fleetwood Mac the public loves so much with Stevie and Lindsey and Christine...

And then listen to that first album when Pete Green ran the band.

That's the difference.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: josepp
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 03:13 PM

////It you think there was something wrong with Little Richard becoming a preacher then you don't know a damn thing about Little Richard.////

I know about to know that he quit rocknroll to attend bible college and then didn't do anything but gospel music for year afterward. I also know enough about him that embarrassed the living shit out of himself with the crap he preached which was incredibly homophobic for a man that is himself gay.

He should have stuck to rocknroll.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 03:28 PM

If you think you can draw a line between gospel and rock and roll, then you don't know much about either.

Little Richard managed to resolve his music, his sexuality and his faith. Who are you to snipe at him?

Sorry to jump down your throat, and sorry for the thread drift, but you're wrong about this.

I'd like to get back to blues.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: josepp
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 03:33 PM

Well, good for him, but if he'd stuck to rocknroll like he should have, he'd never have had to resolve his music.

And there is no evidence that rocknroll or blues came from gospel.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 05:03 PM

Bullpucky. Sacred and secular music evolved alongside one another in the American South. Listen to Pentacostal Holiness music and tell me there's no connection with rock and roll. Elvis loved gospel, and you can hear it in his music. The inflections of Little Richard are the inflections of a country preacher, and vice versa.

And I did not say one led to the other. Linear thinking will not help us tease apart this phenomenon. Instead of A leading to B leading to C, etc., think of music and culture developing and arising together, holistically, if you want to use that word.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: josepp
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 05:07 PM

////Sacred and secular music evolved alongside one another in the American South.////

Exactly! They evolved alongside one another. One did not descend from the other. Both evolved out of field work songs and hollers.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 05:13 PM

I did not say that one descended from the other, you dingbat.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: josepp
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 10:47 PM

Which brings up the point of exactly what you're trying to say.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 11:14 PM

Ya'll wanta talk about the blues??? Fine... Let's get it on...

First of all, younginz... What is the blues???

Be back later...

B~


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 11:53 PM

Guest,jeff, thanks for telling us about the bar-b-que. How neat!

dw...not surprised!:-)

I am listening to Max's blues show right now on the radio. Wish he'd come in here and share some of his youthful knowledge which led him to start the Mudcat and be so continually enthusiastic at promoting the Blues. Check out his radio show every Sat. night.

And, I always welcome a chance to give the Carolina Chocolate Drops a plug.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Janie
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 12:03 AM

This is the powerful pulsing of love in the vein
After the dream of falling and calling your name out
These are the roots of rhythm
And the roots of rhythm remain

(Paul Simon, Under African Skies)

Bobert, LEJ, and others have said it more eloquently, and Paul Simon ain't a blues man. But he sums it up pretty well.

I am not worried the roots will be lost. They have been, and will be, rediscovered again, and yet again. They continue to be preserved, and there are always some young ones who will eventually go in search of the roots to better understand the whole tree of which they are a leaf or a branch, or even a new species created from natural hybridation.

"Where did I come from" is not a rare question.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Janie
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 12:05 AM

And thanks for the reminder, Kat. Just tuned in!


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: josepp
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 12:16 AM

Does anyone know if "Out on the Western Plains" may have been a very early blues? I know a goodly amount of cowboys were black and the song is surprisingly blues-like right down to the AAB lyrics.

I was looking at "Pretty Polly" but it apparently can be traced back to Scotland several centuries ago and so it's blues-like nature is coincidental. But I'm not sure about this cowboy tune, which I learned from listening to Lead Belly. I don't know where he learned it.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 12:24 AM

"Which brings up the point of exactly what you're trying to say."

Exactly what I said, you numbskull.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: josepp
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 01:10 AM

What you said had no point. You got mad about me saying Little Richard quit rocknroll to become a preacher, even though it's totally verifiable, and then insisted gospel music somehow had something to do with rocknroll. Then insisted they evolved side by side, which only proves rocknroll had nothing to do with gospel. Then you say that was your point--which means you contradicted yourself. Then you try to cover it up by hurling insults. You're not doing very well.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 05:15 AM

You are an idiot. My point (and it's a very simple and easily verifiable point) is that secular and sacred music in the American South evolved together, and mutually influenced each other. If you don't understand the connection the deep connection between gospel and rock and roll then you don't know much about either. You yourself admitted that they evolved from common roots, then claimed that "rock and roll had nothing to do with gospel." You're doing worse than me.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Smedley
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 05:44 AM

Interesting thread. One of the points that keeps recurring, mostly implicitly, is an argument about certain genres being intrinsicallly superior (e.g. blues is superior to hip-hop) versus a more nuanced view that there is good stuff in all genres if you take time to find it. I would incline to the latter viewpoint.

For example, a point was made that late 60s Peter Green bluesy Fleetwood Mac was better than the 70s soft-rock incarnation - but I'd say both were great **in their respective genres**.

Even in the contemporary pop most contributors here despise, there is work of wit, creativity and power. Lumping in Lady Gaga (who has those qualities) with vapid schmucks like Justin Bieber is foolish - but doing so does go hand-in-hand with the 'some genres can only be bad' mindset that runs through many posts here.

Open ears tend to be advantageous when listening to music.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 06:00 AM

But Britain today doesn't seem to be much better off than America--possibly even worse. So whose going to inject some life into our crumbling music scene?

Josepp, you should stop reading the headlines and listening to the superficial stuff, and understand that in England alone there is a rippling, babbling, current of music that never makes the 'news'. You could attend the annual Bury Blues Festival, the annual Rockabilly Rave at Camber Sands, numerous folk festivals at venues all over the country, acoustic and electric sessions in pubs and clubs, the Donington Park heavy metal-fest...

It ain't all in the 'media', mate!


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: josepp
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 11:41 AM

////an argument about certain genres being intrinsicallly superior (e.g. blues is superior to hip-hop) versus a more nuanced view that there is good stuff in all genres if you take time to find it. I would incline to the latter viewpoint.////

I just don't like rap. I heard it when I was still pretty young and didn't like it then. And I'm too damned old to listen to it now. If I saw a guy my age listening to rap, I'd think he was an idiot. Pathetic. Trying to be young again. Rap is a one-hit-wonder factory where you'd better hope you can go into acting after you have your hit. It's really a subset of the teeny-boppers. No matter how good you are, you start getting a bit of age on you and you lose your fan base. You ain't cool no more. I have no use for that. In blues, age is respected as it ought to be.

And Lady Gaga seems to me to be a total basket case. When you see people who have to act bizarre in public to get attention it's because they can't get it any other way. But I agree that Justin Bieber is a vapid schmuck although that's being too kind.

////Josepp, you should stop reading the headlines and listening to the superficial stuff, and understand that in England alone there is a rippling, babbling, current of music that never makes the 'news'. You could attend the annual Bury Blues Festival, the annual Rockabilly Rave at Camber Sands, numerous folk festivals at venues all over the country, acoustic and electric sessions in pubs and clubs, the Donington Park heavy metal-fest...////

Yeah, we have the same stuff in America--blues festivals, folk festivals, ragtime festivals, rockabilly festivals and that's all fine and dandy but the public as a whole could case less what happens to these genres. They want to listen to the worst crap you can think of and pay good money to do it. Fat Possum Records should be a major player in the record-buying market but it will never be anything more than what it currently is. I commend those who founded and run it, obviously people with taste and a vision, but the public is just too stupid to listen in any thing resembling great numbers. One Justin Bieber CD will, in 6 months, outsell their entire repertoire over a 10-year period.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 12:09 PM

..frankly, there's already far too much Blues to wade through to find the good stuff..

Nearly a Century of accumulated 'classic' recordings submerged and almost lost
under a comparatively recent deluge of thousands of mediocre pointless 'me too' blues-copyist LPs & CDs..

It's becoming a chore for even enthusiasts to sift through all the uninspiring dull crap;
and don't even get me started on the pubs full of 'learn the blues by tab'
weekend guitarist vanity jam sessions...


At least Internet 'Blues' blogs are a godsend for anyone seeking informed reviews
and a few choice sampler downloads..


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 12:15 PM

Check out the "Blues" thread I started last year, erbert... Lotta good info there...

B~


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: maeve
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 12:24 PM

Bobert's Blues Thread


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 12:26 PM

Thanks, maeve...

Lotta good stuff in there if ya' have time to sift thru it...

B~


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 07:48 AM

Greetings.

I'm coming out of lurker mode to make several points for the record(if you will excuse that pun).

Firstly, let me say that in his post to this thread Richard Bridge fairly paraphrased a point that I have made on this forum. However, it's important to me to note that I have never used the phrase "untermensch status" to refer to African Americans or to any other population. Frankly, I had to look up what that word meant & in doing so I learned of its association to Nazism. Let me emphatically state that I am sure that Richard Bridge did not mean anything negative in his choice of that word. I would fully agree with his paraphrasing if he had written that I believe that many African-Americans have avoided and continue to avoid traditional Blues because many Blues lyrics reflect and the history of the Blues reflects what was considered to be and in material terms what was the lowly status of Black folks.

Let me expand upon this by referring to music that is even older than the Blues, but helped birth that music genre. As some here may remember, my principal folkloric interest is English language children's playground rhymes. Because one facet of my interest inevitably involves looking for sources of rhyme verses, I'm often reading the text of and commentary about 19th century or earlier African American plantation dance & play songs and American minstrel songs. Reading the lyrics to and the commentary about those songs is very difficult for me, even when the commentary comes from such well meaning people as the African American chemistry professor Thomas W. Talley, and the White folklorist Dorothy Scarborough. Both of these people were products of that time, and thank goodness, many of their attitudes & conclusions about Black people are decidedly dated. For example, in his 1922 book Negro Folk Rhymes, Wise And Other Wise, the African American chemistry professor at Fisk University Thomas W. Talley frequently refers to African Americans as crude. He refers to "darkest Africa" and makes erroneous statements about African religions and how those religions influenced African American social rhymes & songs that include mention of animals or trees. Also, many of the lyrics of the featured songs in Talley's collection include references to colorism (the in-racial preference some Black people have for light skin complexions, or that some Black people have for dark skin complexions). I also consider Talley's book to be emotionally difficult reading for me because of other stereotypical attitudes about Black people that are reflected in some of those songs.

In her 1925 book On The Trail Of Negro Folk Songs, Dorothy Scarborough regularly refers to African Americans as "darkies" and African American children as "pickaninnies". In my opinion, Scarborough is frequently and probably unknowingly patronizing to the Black folks who shared their songs with her. And the lyrics to a number of the songs in both of those books use the fully spelled out "n word", a word that still makes me cringe whenever I read it or hear it (no matter who wrote it or who says/sings it). Nevertheless, I definitely agree with those persons who consider both of these books as classics, and treasure my copies of these books and thank Thomas W. Talley and Dorothy Scaborough for their important contributions to the preservation of some creative, historically interesting examples of African American dance & play songs.

Another thing-(though this genre of music is also not what many posters to this thread may consider to be the Blues), when I read books like Martin Williams' Jazz Masters Of New Orleans (1967; The Macmillian Company), I often feel both sad and ANGRY at the treatment these early (and later) Black musicians & vocalists received from White folks, including when White individuals and groups willfully and openly expropriated Black creative products. Frankly, because of the depressed and angry feelings I invariably get when I read about American slavery, minstrelsy, early Jazz and early Blues times, for my own well being, I often take breaks from that reading & research. The main thing that gets me about those times is that-in all too many ways- when it comes to attitudes about Black people- nothing has really changed in this nation and in much of the world but the weather. Some people still consider Black folks to be "untermensch".

But, in my opinion, the troubling history of the Blues is only one reason why it appears to me (and to many others) that only a small percentage of African Americans are "in to" the Blues. Some African American church folks may still consider Blues and other secular music to be "the devil's music", and therefore don't listen to it. Some of these religious Black people and other Black people may dislike Blues because of much of that music's sexually suggestive, sexist, and violent lyrics. Other Black people may not really know Blues but may reject it without hearing it (or knowing it when they hear it) because they've accepted the mainstream definition that all Blues music is sad, and they don't want to be sad or sadder. And since (generally speaking) most Black people prefer music that is uptempo, percussive, and danceable, some African Americans may reject the Blues (without hearing it or knowing it when they hear it) because they don't know that Blues (like Jazz) used to dance music. Maybe some Blues and some Jazz still is music for dancing, though for various reasons, dancing has been largely separated from both of these genres.

In addition to all these points, I also agree with the theory that some Black young people may turn their backs on Blues (if they even think about it, which for the most part I doubt) because they consider Blues to be "old fashioned music". But I think this attitude is more than generational, which leads me to my final point:

To use astrology terms, I believe that we African Americans-in general-are more heavily influenced by Uranus than by Saturn. What I mean by this is that, historically and in this present time, most African Americans are much more interested in innovation than in preservation. We love coming up with new music, new dances, new slang etc. Of course, so many of these "new things" are re-workings, re-interpretations, and expansions of old things, which is why it's important that some folks focus on the preservation-some of which is being done right here on Mudcat.

Best wishes,

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 08:05 AM

Any day that you're here posting is a great one, Mizz Azizz...

Ol' hillbilly been missin' you...

BTW, I have a book fir you... Not too sure where it is now 'cause I'm packin' up to move and it's packed but when I found it I instantly thought of you...

B~


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 09:27 AM

Thanks for sharing Azizi. You've been missed around here.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 10:53 AM

Programmes like X Factor encourage young talent to warble away in the style that sells unfortunately. I don't think it is rejected as such it's just that young black and white kids these days want to get famous and rich quick. Rapping and hip-hop in the UK has become the music for both black and white kids mainly in the inner cities. For them it is important it keeps them off the street and out of trouble, for a while anyway, N-Dubz is a group that comes to mind who are typical of that music culture. I hate it but then it isn't for me thank goodness.

My son ironically has re-discovered blues and has started buying the old names like Hooker and Waters etc. and rejecting the new R&B so perhaps there is hope.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 09:29 AM

Hi Azizi.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Andrez
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 06:19 AM

Definitely an interesting thread! Thank you too for your input and thoughts about the blues Azizi: another angle on a complex issue.

However being a long way from all the Blues action in the US and the UK here in Australia whenever one of the Blues "greats" come to town I do my level best to get there to try and get at least a little feel for the what the energy of the real thing is (or was) about, as opposed to the modern commercial clones or similar wannabees.

BB King is in town in April and I'll be there somewhere very close to the front row. Long live the King!

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: mayomick
Date: 25 Jan 11 - 11:57 AM

The Roots are still going strong .

http://vodpod.com/watch/1807260-video-the-roots-how-i-got-over-live-on-jimmy-fallon


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: GUEST,Zoe Bremer
Date: 25 Jan 11 - 01:40 PM

Just try going to see any pub rock (i.e. blues) band in the UK and see how many Black faces there are in the audience. That says everything.


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Subject: RE: Have blacks rejected blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 25 Jan 11 - 03:37 PM

Kinda different at Otha Turner's annual "Goat Roast" in Como, Ms, Zoe... Or in band room in Clarksdale, Ms.... Or even the barbershop in D.C. where I played every Saturday afternoon for years... Guess it all has alot to do with the venue...

...and 100...

B~


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