Author Topic: The Blues?  (Read 1208 times)

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Offline XB-70 Valkyrie

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The Blues?
« on: February 10, 2017, 10:46:36 PM »
I have never been a fan of the blues, although I have never really tried that hard--too much to listen to in the jazz, classical, and ethnic spheres. To me, so a lot of the blues sounds like rock (which I do not like, to say the least). However, lately, I've been hearing some good stuff, such as this:



Any favorites or recommendations? What do you say to someone getting into the blues (a little), who does not like rock. Is there a certain sub-genre that this (Elvin Bishop, Muddy Waters) fall into?
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 10:48:27 PM by XB-70 Valkyrie »
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Offline James

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Re: The Blues?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2017, 12:40:03 PM »
I have never been a fan of the blues, although I have never really tried that hard--too much to listen to in the jazz, classical, and ethnic spheres. To me, so a lot of the blues sounds like rock (which I do not like, to say the least). However, lately, I've been hearing some good stuff, such as this:



Any favorites or recommendations? What do you say to someone getting into the blues (a little), who does not like rock. Is there a certain sub-genre that this (Elvin Bishop, Muddy Waters) fall into?

Well, if you listen to a lot of Jazz - then you're listening to a lot of Blues in a way .. as it's a bedrock element of Jazz and without much Blues it ain't much Jazz, at least in terms of the 'feel' and the 'phrasing'. In fact, the Blues is also a bedrock element to a lot of roots rock 'n' roll too. The Stones, The Beatles, Hendrix, Cream, you name it .. all learned and indebted to the Blues. Same applies to all the major name Jazz musicians. No blues, no jazz or rock. If you're an electric guitar player, or even interested in Jazz, or Rock .. or both, learning how to play the Blues effectively is a great place to start. Essential imo. The cultural cross-pollination with young chaps across the pond in the 60s .. lots of copping and nicking of the old black blues men.

Personally, though I appreciate a lot of the gut-bucket blues (a la Robert Johnson) and older Blues men (like Albert King) and what they gave music .. and it's a lot more distilled, pure & authentic than what the younger white adolescents did later .. i prefer to listen to cats like Monk, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley etc., etc. .. and on the "Rock" side, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Scott Henderson, Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, Ritchie Blackmore, Santana etc., etc. play blues filtered through  ..
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Offline SimonNZ

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Re: The Blues?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2017, 02:24:34 PM »
I'd recommend spending some time with the big names of pre-war blues if you don't want to hear any obvious rock crossover or copycatting - and for my taste that's the richest seam of blues recordings. You might need to aclimatize to the sound quality on some of the recordings from the 20s and 30s, but once you do you'll be stunned by the quality of the music. The Yazoo label has a large catalogue of reissues of most of the important artists as well as many fine compilations any of which should be a treasure chest. There are also some albums from Columbia's Roots And Blues series I would never want to be without, which are in fact desert island listening for me:



« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 02:27:27 PM by SimonNZ »

Offline James

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Re: The Blues?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2017, 06:23:34 PM »
Since the vocabulary of the blues isn't that difficult .. tone and phrasing are paramount.
The blues is mostly rubato (out of time) .. and more about feel than anything else.
Action is the only truth

Offline Forever Electoral College

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Re: The Blues?
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2017, 05:12:30 PM »
Wow, you really know!!!

I'd recommend spending some time with the big names of pre-war blues if you don't want to hear any obvious rock crossover or copycatting - and for my taste that's the richest seam of blues recordings. You might need to aclimatize to the sound quality on some of the recordings from the 20s and 30s, but once you do you'll be stunned by the quality of the music. The Yazoo label has a large catalogue of reissues of most of the important artists as well as many fine compilations any of which should be a treasure chest. There are also some albums from Columbia's Roots And Blues series I would never want to be without, which are in fact desert island listening for me:





Offline SimonNZ

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Re: The Blues?
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2017, 05:28:27 PM »
Wow, you really know!!!

I know a little...and I know what I like.

What are your favorites?

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: The Blues?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2017, 05:32:07 PM »
What is the "weirdest" blues album you've heard? I want to know....cause alien  8)

"Weird" in what way?

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: The Blues?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2017, 05:59:53 PM »
I guess both lyrically strange and a bit musically off-putting perhaps?


Well I'm a Beefheart fan, so maybe that gives a vague image of what I'm thinking of  :)

You might want to explore the late sixties albums tagged as "Psychedelic Blues". It's not so much my thing, as I find much of it more rock than blues.

Speaking of "weird", though...I'd encourage you to read Greil Marcus' essay "The Old Weird America" about the Harry Smith Anthology, originally a chapter in his study/background of Bob Dylan's The Basement Tapes". It details how to the rediscoverers of pre-war blues these recordings from only three decades earlier made by people mostly still living sounded as alien as music from three centuries ago and another country - an effect they're still capable of.

Offline Forever Electoral College

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Re: The Blues?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2017, 08:33:42 PM »
What is the "weirdest" blues album you've heard? I want to know....cause alien  8)

Offline springrite

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Re: The Blues?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2017, 08:55:26 PM »
How about dirty blues from the earlier part of the 20th century, songs from "Put dat hotdog in my bun", "Rubbing on the darn ole thing" to "Honey warm my wiener". Interesting stuff.
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Offline king ubu

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Re: The Blues?
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2017, 09:17:08 PM »
I love both the old masters (pre-war), though I don't have all that much by them so far, as well as the forties to sixties stuff, rhythm & blues, early electric blues ... and I have been on a bit of a blues binge lately.

Love these two sets, presenting a large chunk of T-Bone Walker's early output - guess he's kind of the founding father of electric blues, introduced the electric guitar in a way similar to Charlie Christian in jazz:



Also recently played this four disc set (there's a larger version of it with ten discs, but I guess that would be too rich for me):



Another old favourite (I think my first blues record ever, or rather: my dad's, but I discovered it in my early teens):

Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Und do die roten röslein stan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Fick mich mehr, du hast dein ehr.
Kannstu nit, ich wills dich lern.
Fick mich, lieber Peter!

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Offline Forever Electoral College

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Re: The Blues?
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2017, 06:18:50 PM »
Instrumental album, without singing.

Offline bwv 1080

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Re: The Blues?
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2017, 04:06:18 PM »
The greatest bluesman you havent heard of

<a href="https://youtu.be/6TMvxIRDLws" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://youtu.be/6TMvxIRDLws</a>
Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum

Offline bwv 1080

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Re: The Blues?
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2017, 04:51:29 PM »
Ali Farka Toure grew up in Mali listening to John Lee Hooker

<a href="https://youtu.be/Vy1eMx8txxo" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://youtu.be/Vy1eMx8txxo</a>
Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum

kishnevi

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Re: The Blues?
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2017, 05:21:05 PM »
Ali Farka Toure grew up in Mali listening to John Lee Hooker

<a href="https://youtu.be/Vy1eMx8txxo" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://youtu.be/Vy1eMx8txxo</a>

I have this, which features his son Vieux (IIRC) alongside Idan Raichel.


I have to confess it did not impress me.
Edit for image



Offline SimonNZ

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Re: The Blues?
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2017, 09:20:25 PM »
Ali Farka Toure's album Niafunke is one of my desert island discs. Afel Bocoum's album Alkibar, which was recorded during the same sessions in breaks from backing Toure, is also essential listening.


Offline SimonNZ

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Re: The Blues?
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2017, 09:23:55 PM »
The greatest bluesman you havent heard of

<a href="https://youtu.be/6TMvxIRDLws" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://youtu.be/6TMvxIRDLws</a>

I own and can recommend his live album Burnside On Burnside, but need to hear more.