Blues

mtarrani

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It may seem strange as a drummer to prefer the drum-less Blues, but so much of my rhythmic inspiration has come from this stuff.
I fully understand. I learned more about rhythm listening to Dizzy Gillespie, and even more about my role as a drummer listening to two major influences that were sans drummer: Nat King Cole Trio and early Oscar Peterson Trio. Not to mention being inspired to ponder my role when Chet Baker said that it takes a helluva drummer to be better than no drummer at all. I wonder if you and I are a rarity on this forum, or if we are the only ones who have spoken up.
 

lamartee

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So I didn't want to hijack the "doing a blues gig this weekend" thread with this question but that thread got me thinking about Blues.

I guess I don't really get it, the Blues. If I'm looking to go see a local band on a weekend night out and there's just a Blues band playing I'll go see them but that wouldn't be my first (or second) choice if I had choices.

Blues isn't really bad IMO but it gets boring for me fast. The long and drawn out six-minute solos and the repetitive bass line and the rhetorical lyrics. In a way Blues is like Rap - there's a basic formula to it and you definitely know what it is when you hear it.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the Blues or it's historical significance or it's impact on Rock and other genres - I'm not and I wonder what others think.
Yeah, that 1-4-5 can get real old real fast. Its all about feel, serious dynamics and making sure that you don't play two songs in a row in the same key to keep the night entertaining.
Otherwise in the words of Muddy....
 
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RogersLudwig

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The last two times someone wanted me to play the real stuff with them, I thought of this kind of stuff. The Wolf with Hubert Sumlin and S.P. Leary; the second includes Jump Jackson, Willie Dixon, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, T-Bone Walker, Memphis Slim, Helen Humes, and Shakey Jake. Instead I get SRV and it goes downhill from there.



 

BennyK

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I really like JJ Cale (at least from the few albums I've heard). To me he's one of the few relatively recent artists to really maintain "that" feel. I'd be curious to read his thoughts on the subject.
Unfortunately John Cale is no longer with us , but his music will remain forever .



If you haven't watched this already -

 

GiveMeYourSmallestSticks!

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Unfortunately John Cale is no longer with us , but his music will remain forever .
Sweet tunes! I've got and really like "Naturally" and "Troubadour", but never got further than those for whatever reason.

Not sure if JJ's name was John, but I should correct you and say that the very great (but very different) John Cale IS fortunately still with us. Not to derail this thread with "non-Blues music"...

 

BennyK

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Sweet tunes! I've got and really like "Naturally" and "Troubadour", but never got further than those for whatever reason.

Not sure if JJ's name was John, but I should correct you and say that the very great (but very different) John Cale IS fortunately still with us. Not to derail this thread with "non-Blues music"...

Yeah, his name was John , he figured " JJ " was catchier . Is this the same John Cale from Velvet Underground ?

I recommend " Really " and " Okie " by JJ
 

Pat A Flafla

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Blues really is about guitar and I'm kind of a guitar worshiper so maybe that's why I like it, but blues drumming doesn't have to be boring. Here's a prog drummer (from Captain Beyond) occasionally doing some pretty exciting things for blues, but in service to the song.

More so than the prog bands I love so much, blues is about connecting to the feelings of the performer through their instrument, and it takes a very special musician to accomplish that lofty goal through such an intentionally stripped-down rhythmic, harmonic and formal vocabulary. I didn't love the blues until I had a particular blues house band gig with excellent players. I wanted to knock it out of the park, and I knew that meant endeavoring to understand where the songwriting and playing came from--to connect with those feelings, so that I could at least make an honest attempt to convey that back out to an audience. To become that drummer, I had to truly appreciate it.

Here's the kind of guitar playing that can get me excited about playing a little less:

And here's one hell of a live performance:
"I gave you seven children, and now you want to give 'em back!"
 

JimmyM

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You can run, but you can't hide from the blues. The whole of modern western music is based on it, even stuff that doesn't sound like it. And you don't have to play I-IV-V chord changes and shuffles for it to be blues. So like it or not, chances are unless you're playing classical or non-western popular music, you're playing blues.
 

GiveMeYourSmallestSticks!

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Yeah, his name was John , he figured " JJ " was catchier . Is this the same John Cale from Velvet Underground ?

I recommend " Really " and " Okie " by JJ
Yup, an original Velvet. He also had a long and fruitful solo career, as well as producing an impressive list of albums from Iggy & the Stooges to Nico to Patti Smith.
 

mtarrani

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Yup, an original Velvet. He also had a long and fruitful solo career, as well as producing an impressive list of albums from Iggy & the Stooges to Nico to Patti Smith.
Here is one of his most covered compositions. Even the singer/songwriter trio to which I formerly belonged covered it. Of course, Skynard probably did the best rendition.

 

RogersLudwig

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One day soon, there will be a revival of bands bashing out Power Pop classics like My Sharona, Ballroom Blitz, Surrender, No Matter What, Just What I Needed, etc.

Positive, high energy, danceable.

Save the Thrill Is Gone and House of the Rising Sun again for open mike night. I'm mostly fine with it -- until the harmonica player steps up and hogs the microphone until threatened with violence. Why are nearly all harmonicaists like that?
Darn, I thought you meant No Matter What You Do by Love and it turns out to be No Matter What by Badfinger. For a moment I thought you might be on to something good.
 


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