The Difference between Traditional Blues …and everything else


12 Days of Blues-Mas 2017 Episode #2

Written by Jae Wilson

A story told in YouTube videos

In my personal journey in music discovery, I’ve found it difficult to differentiate what some call ‘blues adjacent’ versus ‘traditional blues’. Not just because of differences in opinion about what falls under the umbrella of ‘traditional blues’, but also because modern musicians don’t exist in a vacuum!

Despite opinions by (let’s say) very vocal figures in our dance community on what traditional blues is-or-is-not, there is, in fact, a category of music for which awards are given every year with that exact title:

Bobby Rush GRAMMY Winner

Watch: Bobby Rush Wins Best Traditional Blues Album GRAMMY
(opens new window)

Hopefully this isn’t news, but if you want to know what the ‘real experts’ think, check out who won awards over the last few decades. Blues is alive and well and did not end with the death of <insert an opinionated DJ’s favorite artist here>.

Continue reading

UK Blues Musicians | Meet the Local Talent

12 Days of Blues-Mas 2017 | Episode #1

Written by Greg Dyke

I’ve been in the UK for almost a year now and I’ve been blown away by the live music at blues dance events!

Not just the musicians blues dancers are familiar with from having often seen them, such as Dan Nash or The Blueswater, but many less well-known artists, some of whom have only recently started playing for dancers.

I wanted to get to know them a bit better and share them with you, so I chose five to answer three short questions:

  1. Why do you play blues music?
  2. How do you classify the kinds of blues music you play?
  3. What could dancers do to improve your experience of playing for them?

I hope you enjoy their answers as much as I did!

Continue reading

Blues Heroes | CeDell Davies

Fat Possom just has to be the best name for a record label ever.

They’re an American independent record label based in Oxford, Mississippi. They started out by recording relatively unknown blues artists from the North Mississippi region: their most famous being R.L. Burnside.

My personal favourite artist recorded by Fat Possum is CeDell Davies. I first heard his music when I was researching one of his fellow Possum artists Asie Payton.

The first song I heard from CeDell was the first one on this playlist:

CeDell Davies playlist on Spotify

My immediate thought was:

“Whoa, that’s a cool sound! Is that slide guitar, or something else?”

I hadn’t heard anything like it, so I had to know more.

When I looked up the biography details of CeDell Davies, I discovered why his guitar sound was so unique.

I also uncovered an incredible life story.

Continue reading