From John Bartman, trumpet player for Queen City Jazz Band.
It is a must read for all Dixieland or traditional jazz fans.
THE WHYS AND WHEREFORES OF THE BLUES:
If you're new to Blues music, or you like it but never really understood the
whys and wherefores, here are some very fundamental rules:
1. Most Blues begin with: "Woke up this morning..."
2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues, unless you stick
something nasty in the next line like, "I got a good woman, with the meanest
face in town."
3. The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it.
Then, find something that rhymes -- sort of: "Got a good woman with the
meanest face in town. Yes, I got a good woman with the meanest face in
town. Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher and she weigh 500 pound."
4. The Blues is not about choice. "You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a
ditch..... ain't no way out."
5. Blues cars: Chevys, Fords, Cadillacs, and broken-down trucks. Blues
don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or Sport Utility Vehicles. Most Blues
transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft and
state-sponsored motor pools ain't even in the running. Walkin' plays a
major part in the Blues lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.
6. Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin' to die yet. Adults
sing the Blues. In blues, "adulthood" means being old enough to get the
electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.
7. Blues can take place in New York City, but not in Hawaii or anywhere in
Canada. Hard times in Minneapolis or Seattle are probably just clinical
depression. Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Memphis, and N'awlins are still
the best places to have the Blues. You cannot have the Blues in any place
that don't get rain.
8. A man with male pattern baldness ain't the Blues. A woman with male
pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg 'cause you were skiing is not the
Blues. Breaking your leg 'cause a alligator be chomping on it is.
9. You can't have no Blues in an office or a shopping mall. The lighting
is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.
10. Good places for the Blues: a. highway, b. jailhouse, c. empty bed,
d. bottom of a whiskey glass.
11. Bad places for the Blues: a. Nordstrom's, b. gallery openings, c. Ivy
League institutions, d. golf courses.
12. No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, less you happen
to be an old person, and you slept in it.
13. Do you have the right to sing the Blues? Yes, if: a. you're older
than dirt, b. you're blind, c. you shot a man in Memphis, d. you can't be
satisfied. No, if: a. you have all your teeth, b. you once were blind but
now can see, c. the man in Memphis lived, d. you have a 401 K or trust
14. Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods
cannot sing the Blues. Sonny Liston could have. Ugly white people also got
a leg up on the Blues.
15. If you ask for water and your darlin' gives you gasoline, it's the
Blues. Other acceptable Blues beverages are: a. cheap wine, b. whiskey
or bourbon, c. muddy water, d. black coffee. The following are NOT Blues
beverages: a. Perrier, b. Chardonnay, c. Snapple, d. Slim Fast.
16. If death occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues death.
Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die. So
are the electric chair, substance abuse, and dying lonely on a broken-down
cot. You can't have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match or while
17. Some Blues names for women: a. Sadie, b. Big Mama, c. Bessie, d.
18. Some Blues names for men: a. Joe, b. Willie, c. Little Willie, d.
19. Persons with names like Michelle, Amber, Jennifer, Debbie, and Heather
can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.
20. Blues Name Starter Kit: a. name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple,
Lame, etc.), b. first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime,
Peach, etc.), c. last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore,
etc.). For example: Blind Lemon Jefferson, Pegleg Lime Johnson, or Cripple
Peach Fillmore, etc.
21. I don't care how tragic your life is; if you own a computer, you cannot
sing the blues, period.
that is funny.... Odd, that it is accurate, and funny at the same time.
I think I'll get out my
Martin Mull had it pegged in "Baby Bottle Blues", about white suburbanites trying to relate to the blues:
"Woke up this mornin'
Both cars were gone.
I said,I woke up this mornin'
Both cars were gone.
Got so mad,
I threw my drink across the lawn..."
All to the accompaniment of a slide ukulele, using an glass baby bottle (with a nipple on it!) as a slide. [johnleehooker]How-how-how-how![johnleehooker]
Hey! I live in St. Louis. Maybe one day I'll be able to sing the blue. I just need to sell my computer, get rid of my 401K and shoot a guy and find an alligator!
That list is awesome!
Don't know shit about the blues except for RL Burnside, but love the "ALPHA BITCH" sigline!
"Welcome To Idaho, The Standoff State"
I LOVE the Blues. I go to blues bars all the time. Now, Dion Payton's son works for me. We're going to be heading back to the Windy City to hear his daddy jammin' at Buddy Guy's place.
I didn't realize how bad I had it until I just counted my CDs the other day, and found that out of 20 CDs, only TWO were not Blues. And they were Johnny Cash and Johnny Paycheck! (Damned close if not spot on!)
Woke up this morning head throbbing from Dom Debbie done wecked by Bimmer and now she is gone Life sooo bad I think I am goona die My portfolio dropping no money no pie
i love tha blues. grew up in a family with big band, dixieland and blues going all the time. i like it all from louis armstrong to robert johnson to stevie ray vaughn.
its tha swing man. tha swing.