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Some thoughts from Jimmy Hudson
Recently I was asked “What are the blues?” While this is a tough question to answer, here are some thoughts to ponder. First one must open one’s mind. My skydiving friend Cory will tell you that your mind is like your parachute, it doesn’t work unless it’s open. There are many opinions on what the blues are. I once stood before an American flag and swore an oath to defend your right to your opinion, Even if the one advocating it at the top of his lungs is someone I would spend a lifetime arguing at the top of mine. I will respect and defend your opinion. Some will say that unless it came from the Mississippi delta it’s not blues. Some will tell you that if the artists name isn’t Lightnin’ or Muddy or Howlin’ or King or Taylor it’s not blues. Is it a motorcycle only when it says Harley Davidson on the gas tank? Is it a firearm only if it says Smith and Wesson on it?
I once asked a guitar player what the blues are and he told me it is a feeling deep in his soul that comes out his fingers on the neck of Lucille. We cannot attempt to compartmentalize the genre known as the blues. In 1957 John Baldry called it boogie woogie, An English cop on the same album said “ it is a style of music peculiar to the American Negro my Lord.” Johnny Winter said “I make my living feeling lousy but I feel good when I play blues.” Delbert McClinton called it “blues as blues can get.” Jake and Elwood called” Briefcase Full of Blues” master bluesmen practicing their craft.
I was at a house party at my good friend Terry’s house. I was in the basement playing pool when I heard the most amazing music coming through the floor. I did not recognize the band but it was some great blues. I immediately sunk the eight ball, racked my cue and headed upstairs to find out who this was. I was pleasantly surprised to see a video on the big screen of some early concert footage of Led Zeppelin, but they’re a rock band aren’t they. Eric Clapton started his career as a rock and roller, but he is also a great bluesman. My point is that the music known as the blues can be that which stirs your soul. It will cause an emotional, spiritual, or physical response to the listener. It can come from any number of sources. From Lightnin’ Hopkins to Joe Bonamassa to Webb Wilder it will flow through you and leave you wanting more. The blues is an attitude. The blues is a feeling. The blues is a mindset. With your mind open please feel free to decide for yourself what the blues are to you personally. As long as you enjoy it, the music known as the blues will ‘live long and prosper,”