Tuesday, February 7, 2012

All About The Music, Not Competition

I just returned from participating in the International Blues Challenge. This was my second year doing so. We made it to the semi-finals last year and to the finals this year. There seems to always be a huge controversy over the inconsistency of the judging but that is neither here or there. The most powerful thing about the experience was seeing musicians from all over the world that truly live and love the blues. Now don't get me wrong, we all do various styles of music but we never forget that the blues is king. The camaraderie was amazing. It was a simple reminder that it's all about the music and not the competition. After all no man can TRULY sit and judge another man's blues. That's what makes the blues immortal. It's because the blues is not just any one sound or style, it's a little bit of everything and it continues to morph because it is a living thing. The blues is ALL about expression and honestly and for those that have participated in the IBC I challenge you to not not be defined by the competition element of it but understand that there is no right or wrong way to play the blues. You define your own musical path and you need not be validated by any organization or person. Yes, it's nice to have people say nice things about you and recognize you but in the end it's all about you telling YOUR story the way YOU see it and only that defines you. During the finals, we were sitting backstage with other finalists jamming for at least two hours and it was the most beautiful experience because it showed us what we ALL had in common and that was a true love and respect for this music and each other. Let's continue to stay focused on these things and the blues will be assured to grow and flourish in love and truth. It is truly all about the music, not the competition. Enjoy the journey.

The Truth
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