Thursday, December 22, 2011
Let It Grow!
OK, I'm so tired of people stunting the growth of music by trying place creativity in a box. In particular I'm speaking about the blues. I've had the privilege over my career to play with some of the greatest names in blues. I've even played with some unsung greats that are better than any of the cats you ever heard. I love ALL music and I continue to learn from every experience. The concern I have is that the blues, in particular, is in danger. Not because of the music or even the buying public. It is being endangered by all of these so called know it alls that seem to think that the blues can only contain the same three chords and can only have a particular beat or groove. The blues is a living music a we must LET IT GROW. The music that was created by Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and many like them is great and we all love it. They made their contribution by just playing the music they felt. They didn't follow this rule of that rule. The on thing they had to do was be good at being themselves. In order for this music to grow, artists in this generation must be allowed the same creative freedom to explore and expand the form. Of course today's blues is going to be different than the blues of our ancestors. We live in a completely different time. This is the digital age of instant gratification and our very lifestyles create another chapter that has to be written in the history of the blues. The reason I say the blues is in danger is that most of the articles I've read all end up saying the same things. This is great but nothing we haven't heard before. I go to festivals and it's the same thing. Great musicians playing the same thing you've heard a million times before. This may be fine for those that like the tradition but it doesn't help bring any new fans to the music and without new blood the blues can't breathe. The blues is not just about the music, it's a life experience and we all get the blues. The blues is about not only mourning but celebrating and it is unfair for anyone to place limits or try to tell someone else how to live, feel or play the blues. It is important for those of us making records to continue to trust our hearts and make the music we feel. Never let ANYONE tell you that it is not blues or not this or that. The blues is the very foundation on which ALL forms of American popular music is built so we are really listening to the blues everywhere, everyday but we have to express this to the current generation so that they can understand it and nurture it. Again I ask a you blues purists, please just let it grow. The blues has grown from seeds of beauty that were planted many year ago by some of the greatest minds of our time. Let's continue to cultivate this music. Enjoy the journey.
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