It's About "Livin' the Blues:" Because...
There ain't no cure for the Soul, once infected with the Blues.
The blues tells a story. Every line of the blues has a meaning.
-John Lee Hooker
With my little band, I did everything they did with a big band. I made the blues jump.
I've said that playing the blues is like having to be black twice. Stevie Ray Vaughan missed on both counts, but I never noticed.
-B. B. King
The British ballads became a new kind of form in their hand. And out of them came the blues, a new kind of song of commentary and satire, a song form which, after all, has become the main musical form of the whole human species.
Once you start collecting records you learn more and more about jazz and blues.
You have to understand a bit about the poetry of the blues to know where the references are coming from.
In 1908 Handy didn't know anything about the blues and he doesn't know anything about jazz and stomps to this day. I myself figured out the peculiar form of mathematics and harmonies that was strange to all the world but me.
-Jelly Roll Morton
White folks hear the blues come out, but they don't know how it got there.
I'm certain that it was an incredible gift for me to not only be friends with some of the greatest blues people who've ever lived, but to learn how they played, how they sang, how they lived their lives, ran their marriages, and talked to their kids.
If you don't know the blues... there's no point in picking up the guitar and playing rock and roll or any other form of popular music.
I used to listen to country and western and blues, John Lee Hooker, spirituals, the Bluegrass Boys, and Eddie Arnold. There was a radio station that come on everyday with country, spirituals, and the blues.
The blues comes right back to a person's feelings, to his daily activities in life. But rich people don't know nothing about the blues, please believe me.
Blues music is becoming more and more popular than it ever was. I'm always meeting people on the road that are really young, and are guitar players. male and female.
Every time the guys were knocked out by my guitar playing and the girls were knocked out by the type of songs I did. That set us apart from the average blues band.
When you think of blues, all you think about is crying guitar like B.B. King's guitar. You think about someone crying that their woman's gone. And how bad life is and all that. Why can't it be something happy with the blues? Why can't it have a hip-hop beat to which you can do the dances of today ?
Simple music is the hardest music to play and blues is simple music.
But between sets I'd sneak over to the black places to hear blues musicians. It got to the point where I was making my living at white clubs and having my fun at the other places.
-Stevie Ray Vaughan
The Blues is Life.
"The blues ain't nothing but a good man feelin' bad"
There's no way in the world I can feel the same blues the way I used to. When I play in Chicago, I'm playing up-to-date, not the blues I was born with. People should hear the pure blues - the blues we used to have when we had no money.
I've always wanted the sound of Muddy Waters' early records - only louder
I been in the blues all my life. I'm still delivering 'cause I got a long memory.
You gotta have heart in you want to make it in this business.
The blues is the foundation, and it's got to carry the top. The other part of the scene, the rock 'n' roll and the jazz, are the walls of the blues.
The history of a people is found in its songs.
Blues is a natural fact, is something that a fellow lives. If you don't live it you don't have it. Young people have forgotten to cry the blues. Now they talk and get lawyers and things.
-Big Bill Broonzy
It is from the blues that all that may be called American music derives its most distinctive characteristics.
-James Weldon Johnson
Once I was checking to hotel and a couple saw my ring with Blues on it. They said, 'You play blues. That music is so sad.' I gave them tickets to the show, and they came up afterwards and said, 'You didn't play one sad song.'
Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art.
I just like the blues better than rock 'n' roll.
Sounds like the blues are composed of feeling, finesse, and fear.
The blues was so big in the late '60s that it kinda wore itself out, and people weren't diggin' the blues as much.
Music isn't just learning notes and playing them, You learn notes to play to the music of your soul.
Saturday night is your big night. Everybody used to fry up fish and have one hell of a time. Find me playing till sunrise for 50 cents and a sandwich. And be glad of it. And they really liked the low-down blues.
... it's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses ...
-Dan Aykroyd (Elwood Blues)
... Me and the Lord, we have an understanding ...
-John Belushi (Jake Blues)
Pop music is aspirin and the blues are vitamins.
Women and rhythm-section first! Music is the only thing keeping the planet together.
- Jaco Pastorius
Technique is the ability to translate your ideas into sound through your instrument. This is a comprehensive technique . . . a feeling for the keyboard that will allow you to transfer any emotional utterance into it. What has to happen is that you develop a comprehensive technique and then say, Forget that. I'm just going to be expressive through the piano.
- Bill Evans
Music Humor - Rules Of The Blues:
Author unkown.(Wish I knew,'cause it's really funny)
1. Most Blues begin, "Woke up this morning..."
2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues, unless you stick something nasty in the next line like, "I got a good woman, with the meanest face in town."
3. The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes... sort of: "Got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Yes, I got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher, and she weigh 500 pound."
4. The Blues is not about choice. You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a ditch--ain't no way out.
5. Blues cars: Chevys, Fords, Cadillacs and broken-down trucks. Blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or Sport Utility Vehicles. Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft and company motor pools ain't even in the running. Walkin' plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.
6. Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin' to die yet. Adults sing the Blues. In Blues, "adulthood" means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.
7. Blues can take place in New York City but not in Hawaii or any place in Canada. Hard times in Minneapolis or Seattle is probably just clinical depression. Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City are still the best places to have the Blues. You cannot have the blues in any place that don't get rain.
8. A man with male pattern baldness ain't the blues. A woman with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg cause you were skiing is not the blues. Breaking your leg 'cause a alligator be chompin' on it is.
9. You can't have no Blues in a office or a shopping mall. The lighting is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.
10. Good places for the Blues:
c. An empty bed
d. Bottom of a whiskey glass
11. Bad places for the Blues:
b. Gallery openings
c. Ivy league institutions
d. Golf courses
12. No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, 'less you happen to be a old ethnic person, and you slept in it.
13. You have the right to sing the Blues if:
a. You older than dirt
b. You blind
c. You shot a man in Memphis
d. You can't be satisfied
14. You don't have the right to sing the Blues if:
a. You have all your teeth
b. You were once blind but now can see
c. The man in Memphis lived
d. You have a pension fund
15. Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the blues. Sonny Liston could. Ugly white people also got a leg up on the blues.
16. If you ask for water and your darlin' give you gasoline, it's the Blues
17. Other acceptable Blues beverages are:
a. Cheap wine
b. Whiskey or bourbon
c. Muddy water
d. Nasty black coffee
18. The following are NOT Blues beverages:
d. Slim Fast
19. If death occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die. So is the electric chair, substance abuse and dying lonely on a broke-down cot. You can't have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match or while getting liposuction.
20. Some Blues names for women:
b. Big Mama
d. Fat River Dumpling
21. Some Blues names for men:
c. Little Willie
d. Big Willie
22. Persons with names like Michelle, Amber, Debbie, and Heather can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.
23. Make your own Blues name Starter Kit: a. name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc.) b. first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Melon, Kiwi, etc.) c. last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.) For example: Blind Lime Jefferson, Jackleg Lemon Johnson or Cripple Kiwi Fillmore, etc. (Well, maybe not "Kiwi.")
24. I don't care how tragic your life: if you own even one computer, you cannot sing the blues.
Roots of Blues: Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins -"Hurricane Beulah"
More by this Author
This is possibly the most infamous story of rock and roll debauchery. Many believe this one incident is what set the bar for the unwritten contest of outrageous stunts, and stories of rock stars on tour. The antics of...
Story of the bluesman, the Devil, and the deal at the crossroads, as retold in Stephen Davis's Hammer of the Gods. In the delta of the Mississippi River, where Robert Johnson was born, they said that if an...
1 All lies and jest, still, a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest. - Simon and Garfunkel, The Boxer 2 All of us get lost in the darkness, dreamers learn to steer by the stars. - Rush, The Pass 3...