Everyday I Have the Blues
April 3, 2003 7:12 PM   Subscribe

The Year of the Blues. Who knew? Congress named 2003 "The Year of the Blues." This site offers features like blues riff of the month and an extensive calendar of events. The list includes monthly blues fests all over the world, but if you can't catch any, then save April 23 for a televised American Masters premier tribute to the late great Muddy Waters.
posted by madamjujujive (11 comments total)
What was in the Murrican water supply today? Or has everyone been saving their best links for today or what? I've never seen the front page so choc-a-bloc with goodies. Is today some secret cabal birthday or something?

And now the U.S. Congress in on it too? Wow, madamjuju - thanks for this wish-I-was-there calendar!

But can't stay, must rush to go and congratulate adamgreenfield, weston... :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:55 PM on April 3, 2003

I really like the concept--and man, I've got to get my show back on the net!--but I was turned off to read about the opening concert for it (filmed by Scorcese) in New York City in the New York Times. Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Robert Jr. Lockwood and Luther Allison opened for headliners Macy Gray, Bonnie Raitt, Aerosmith and Chuck D, among others, with B.B. King somewhere in the middle. I find that so depressing...
posted by y2karl at 8:01 PM on April 3, 2003

Depressing? y2karl, that's demeaning. Do they even understand the reason for the concert?

On a positive note, people attending the concert can just leave early. If it was the other way around, they'd have to sit through Macy Gray et al before getting to the interesting part.

And yes, get your show back on the net!
posted by Hildago at 8:58 PM on April 3, 2003

Yes, that is terribly depressing y2karl....blues artists never get their due. And these people you name represent the last of a genre that won't be with us for very much longer, true national treasures. Sigh. I hear it's different in Europe but I don't know if that's true.

The one thing I appreciate about someone like Bonnie Raitt is the way she promotes *real* performers - she's been in the forefront of raising money and staging events for forgotten blues people. I have always found her blues (and Clapman's too) far too watered down for my tastes.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:19 PM on April 3, 2003

[this is good]

mjj, you must have seen this but in case you haven't may I present :- The Blue Highway, a fine online resource for thing blues-related.

'The history of the blues is more than a musical chronology. The blues was born the day the West African shoreline fell from the horizon. It was raised amid the institutionalized savagery of the Deep South and flourished in the dark heart of America's largest cities. We owe the blues to those who bore the pain of enslavement behind the frightful shadows of our collective soul. The Blue Highway, then, is dedicated to the men and women who traveled beyond our ignorant place, and to those who could not.'
posted by plep at 11:08 PM on April 3, 2003

Year of the Blues, yes.

And sadly, for me, day of kicking myself for not knowing David "Honeyboy" Edwards--88 year old contemporary of Robert Johnson, and according to the interview in this week's Fast Forward, writer of Sweet Home Chicago among other blues classics, was playing a mere six blocks away from the restaurant in which I wasted the night working. Damn damn damn.

y2karl: On the one hand, I'd want a concert like that to reflect the diversity of the blues, stylewise, but I could think of a lot better people than Aerosmith to represent where the blues is at today. (Keb Mo? Ben Harper? Big Sugar?) And if anybody should have been headlining it, BB should have been.
posted by arto at 1:36 AM on April 4, 2003

Thanks for the link plep - that is indeed one of the best blues sites online. And arto, too bad you missed Honeyboy - I saw him about 5 years ago and it was truly a wonderful experience. He is still pretty actively out and about so you may catch him yet! Thanks for the interview.

More interviews with Honeyboy Edwards

Live Wire's One on One
Honeyboy Edwards Remembers Maxwell Street
Mai Cramer's 1997 Interview - rest in peace, Mai - who'd have thought you'd die before Honeyboy?
National Heritage for the Arts 2002 inteview on receipt of a National Heritage Fellowship Award
posted by madamjujujive at 7:51 AM on April 4, 2003

Bluesworld is still the best... It contains a universe of linkeriffica. Scholarly stuff like the Gayle Dean Wardlow pages and Times Ain't Like They Used To Be: The Story of Richard "Rabbit Brown, funny stuff like Harvey Pekar's Ridin' The Dog and incredible links to online discographies, major labels--Yazoo and Document, for example--books, online 78 auctions, musicians and so on and so on. You can take a big long luxurious bubblebath in the contents therein...

And help identify the Mystery Song--I know I'm stumped.
posted by y2karl at 9:59 AM on April 4, 2003

another good link: the Music Maker Relief Foundation. Many of the most interesting and authentic blues artists are elderly, have very little money, and are consequently having a rough time. Music Maker books tours and sells CDs to benefit them. Supporters include Taj Mahal and Eric Clapton.
posted by Vidiot at 12:44 PM on April 4, 2003

y2karl and Vidiot, thanks for the great links - another bookmarkable thread with all this linky goodness!

Vidiot, I love Taj! I just saw him a few months ago here in Boston.
Anyone who is reading this thread: if Taj Mahal comes to any venue near you, go see him whether you know a thing about his music or not! A great roots/blues/island music musician, a kickass story teller and a wonderful stage charisma - you will leave the show feeling happy, I guarantee it. Listen to the Madam now!
posted by madamjujujive at 4:42 PM on April 4, 2003

agreed, MJJ. Taj is GREAT.
posted by Vidiot at 10:59 PM on April 4, 2003

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