A scrapbook of blues

12 Days of Blues-Mas 2017 | Episode #12

Blues is, and always has been, music about the tapestry of life.

I feel lucky to have such a rich stream of inspiration that brings me much enjoyment, as a reader, writer and a listener, as well as a DJ and a dancer.

Being part of a wider community of blues musicians and dancers makes my life considerably more interesting, and I feel lucky to get to travel to different places to play beautiful music for people to dance to.

One of the things I love most is that feeling of complete immersion that I get from blues music and dance. DJing and dancing allow me to be in the here and now; it almost feels ike a meditation practice for me at times.

My Blues Journal

I write long-hand most mornings and I have a special journal that I take away with me to blues weekends. This morning I was looking back through that journal, plus another one that I took with me to MezzJelly Blues in New York this summer.

I was inspired to begin a blues scrapbook this year, to collect writings and music notes, tickets, passes, postcards, photos and other memorabilia. I feel quite excited to do that. I’ve already decided that I need to buy a new hardback journal especially for that purpose.

That idea, in turn, has inspired this post today.

I was going to write a different post, but this idea found its way into my imagination and I had to give in.

Memories of 2017

I would like to offer you a window into my world through a scrapbook of notes, photos and people who’ve inspired me in my blues world this year.

Here we go:

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DJ Tips Part One | The Journey

“Your job starts in the record store, not on the decks. Your worth as a DJ begins and ends with what’s on your shelves and in your bag. For every hour on the deck, a good DJ spends days, months and years picking out tunes and learning about music.”

– Frank Broughton and Bill Brewster


My first DJ set was less of a set and more of a playlist and I was absolutely terrified. Lucky for me it got people dancing with a smile on their face and sent me home with one too.

From that day I knew I was on a journey. I wasn’t entirely sure of my destination but that didn’t matter. I set off without a map but trusted the universe to send me guides and sign-posts whenever I needed them.

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DJ Notes | Old, new, borrowed & blue


EBI 2015, Sunday Night Party

One of my favourite ways to spend an evening is to lay on my sofa listening to music and tidying up my song library. (That’s pretty much what I’m doing right now, truth be told.)

I often listen back over my recent sets and think about what went well (and what didn’t go so well). I might make a note of something I want to remember.

Today, while I was listening, a traditional English saying relating to a marriage custom came to mind:

’Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’.

(A bride that wears something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue on her wedding day will find good fortune, or so the saying goes.)

I like this saying and found myself thinking that it could be used to describe the way I select my music when I’m DJing. (Maybe it brings me good luck too.)

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