Blues as a genre has been around for over a hundred years. It is hard to explain blues music to someone who hasn’t heard about it. But for those who already listened to a song or two, Blues is a genre that has a distinguishable style. It has that kind of ‘punch’ or ‘kick’ that goes straight to the guts. Call it visceral or raw, but Blues can make you feel ‘something.’ That something has to do with all the basic forms of human suffering. Be that be an existential crisis, poverty, discrimination, regret, or loss. Thus, this is not coincidental, as Blues itself was built in the same sentiments.
It brings back the woes of the African slaves in the South of the United States. If you’ve watched civil war films(especially those that tell the plight of the African American slaves as they were), then you’ll have an idea why they invented the Blues.
What is Blues Music?
Blues is the brother of Jazz, and they sprung out
The History Of Blues
If you’ve watched the movie Gone With the Wind, then you can hear African-American cotton planters singing in a call and response pattern. A lead vocalist sings a line or two, and the rest of the crowd answered in a conclusive tone. Thus, this was the beginning of Blues music. Soon it evolved to include polyrhythms and electric instruments like the electric guitar and a Hammond organ. Artists like Howlin’ Wolf became influential in the ’50s onwards.
Pop Music Influenced By Blues Music
The late Elvis Presley borrowed heavily from blues. The music also became the foundation of Rock n’Roll. Even bands like The Beatles and The Doors were influenced by Blues music. The Madonna’s hit ‘Fever’ was a remake of a James Cotton classic. Hence, current artists and bands like The White Stripes and Black Keys have Blues tunes dominantly. Mega Pop star Adele also sings in a bluesy style.
Current Blues Artists
Artists like Tommy Castro, Gary Moore, Robert Cray, and Robben Ford, to mention a few, are keeping the Blues flame alive. Artists like James Cotton continue to record and perform.
Many artists are also fusing Blues and Jazz, so it is hard to label a particular band or artist as Blues or Jazz. Streaming sites and channels like YouTube are responsible for educating the new generation with good music. Music stores selling vinyl records are also responsible for the new generation’s appreciation of this great American musical form.
Blues continue to grow. The style is found in most genres, either in a subtle manner or