[Dixielandjazz] THE BLUES - Reality vs. perception.
TCASHWIGG at aol.com
TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Mon Jul 19 10:32:35 PDT 2004
In a message dated 7/19/04 9:03:01 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
jazzboard at hotmail.com writes:
> This set me to thinking . . .
> If there is anything which tends to give me a case of the galloping giggles
> it's listening to a contemporary trad jazz band with one of the sidemen
> doing the vocal on a "blues" tune.
Now I have to agree with you on that one Bill, as a matter of fact I have
often gotten a case of FONK from hearing musicians who should have remained
instrumentalists forever, trying to sing at all, just to avoid hiring a competent
professional Vocalist who doe that well and does not necessarily play an
instrument other than their voice.
It's my thesis that the "blues" can really only be sung by a certain type of
individual. And that individual is certainly NOT a 65 year old white dude
dressed in Dockers and a knit polo shirt with a band logo emblazoned on the
front all topped off with a nice new pair of clean white tennis shoes
Although they do not usually dress exactly like this description, there are
several excellent 60 something White Blues singers who often dress down in
Hawaiian Shirts and tennis shows and deliver very convincing BLUES vocals.
Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Bruce Springfield, Frankie Laine sang a pretty
good Blues, Tom Jones can sing the Blues, and Locally, (Sacramento, Folsom area)
Richie Barron, who worked for years with Jr. Walker & The All stars, and Paul
Wood who did thirty years with John Lee Hooker, learning it from a master. I
also know a Big Old Irishman in Florida who calls himself Big Daddy & his Red
Hot Java Band and he can lay down the Blues with all the passion and feeling
of Pavorotti at the opera.
Ya gotta go out and hear some folks more Bill, there is a lot of great talent
outside the Dixieland Music circuit. Most Dixieland Guys still lead a very
sheltered life and are missing a world of great entertainment in the process.
Actually it is about time for you to start singing the BLUES, you have now
just about reached the age of maturity that would make you a Living Legend in
the perceived Blues World. You don't count as a Blues Legend till you are
discovered by the Blues Critics at about 70-80 years of age, then they like to give
you about a fifteen year run at the pace of a twenty year old.
More than likely the singer is retired from his day gig as a school teacher
tax accountant and while he may have a nice singing voice and be "well read"
and "worldly" in his personal life he is, nevertheless, like me, totally
incapable of singin' the blues.
This part sadly in many cases is indeed the case, and not all of them are
White guys either, there are plenty of wannabe Black singers in the same
category, who when they discover that they can't make it as a Balladeer slide over and
try to be Blues singers however most of them too are not very convincing at
A really good Blues singer is one that has lived the Blues in one form or
another like waking up one mornin' and the repo man has done stole yo caddylac
with yo drums in the trunk so you can't make the gig tonight. You knows you
shoulda made that car payment instead of givin' that money to the dope man agin',
and then borrowing another fifty bucks from the band leader to pay that fine
lookin' woman you went home wit last night.
Now you got to go home to mamma and them five kids with no milk and bologna
like you promised to bring home last night after the gig. When you do git home
there is an eviction notice tacked on your front door again, and a man
sittin' in a clearly unmarked police car waitin' for you with a handful of bad
checks you papered the city with last week. They haul you downtown to the police
station and write up a whole bunch of white man lies against you and put you in
jail again for all those back parking tickets you didn't have no money to be
payin'. You ask the judge how he expects you to pay them fines and support
and feed yo children if he keeps you in jail. He looks up and smiles and tell
you "The same way your paying them now sir, but at least you ain't running up
no more of em while you my guest and I got the car off the streets too." When
you get out your gonna owe me more money than that car is worth so you can
forget about gettin' it back too.
Now Brother Bill that is the makin's of a Real Blues Singer, or some stories
very similar to it, The Blues is way of life, and the Blues can and does hit
many folks in different ways yep even White folks get the Blues, Hell even
Jesus Had the Blues, try hangin' on a cross and drinking vinegar for a day or so
and see if you don't get the Blues. That is when he is credited with writing
that powerful # 1 Blues song "Father why hast thou forsaken me?" :))
Blues Singers are Story Tellers, and they all have a Story to tell about
their Blues or others Blues they know about and have a unique talent of being
able to put it to music that makes it even more realistic and believable.
Now the accountant for Enron can certainly sing the Blues, Saddam Hussein is
now qualified to sing the Blues, why Martha Stuart will probably come back
from prison with a new Blues CD.
I can't sing the Blues either, but I sure can play them.
I just leave the singin' to somebody more qualified.
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