I delved into my own head, threw on the ol’ iPod and had a right visit with my friends Leadbelly, Howlin’ Wolf … and Robert Johnson.
Ladies and Gentlemen of kilScenedom, I got the blues. If you’re from the Northeast and you had a snowstorm fuck up your day yesterday, then you know what I’m talking about. What does somebody who’s cooped in the house to do when they can’t do a damn thing? Simple. They get the snow storm Blues. How does one alleviate the snowstorm Blues? Well, I delved into my own head, threw on the ol’ iPod and had a right visit with my friends Leadbelly, Howlin’ Wolf, Skip James, Son House, and the Blues Master himself, Mr. Robert Johnson . People should listen to the Blues. It’s good to feed one’s soul with truth every once in a while. Some nitty-gritty, down in the Delta blues is about as much truth in music that one could handle.
Hearts need to be torn apart and tears need to be shed. It’s the human condition, my friends.
Why equate the Blues with truth? All one has to do is listen to Leadbelly’s song “The Gallows Pole” to get that answer. I don’t care if you’re black, white, yellow, purple, or orange. Fuck race and forget creed. The Blues masters of old told stories in their songs; and listening to those songs, I mean really listening, you get lost in those kinds of songs. The images are clear and the stories come to life in your mind. A movie for the mind, if you will. Said “movies” could always be found in the Drama section of the video store in your mind. Depressing maybe, but sometimes one needs to go to that dark place in their minds. Hearts need to be torn apart and tears need to be shed. It’s the human condition, my friends.
I guess the Devil kept up his part of the bargain.
The mythology surrounding the Blues is just as enjoyable as the truth behind the songs. In particular when it concerns Robert Johnson. Robert Johnson IS the Blues. As the story goes, Robert Johnson made a deal with the Devil to grant the Dark One his soul in exchange for Blues fame. One night when Robert was instructed by the Devil to take his guitar to the crossroads near the Dockery Plantation at midnight. The way the story goes, Robert handed the Devil his guitar, the Devil played a few songs and handed the guitar back to young Robert and from there, Robert Johnson instantly became well versed in the Blues. The Blues were him and he it. Robert Johnson achieved the Blues fame he so craved and died on August 16, 1938 at the age of 27 of mysterious circumstances. Spooooky. Whatever the truth behind Robert Johnson’s insta-fame and sudden death, one thing is for certain, he most certainly did achieve Blues fame. After his death, it was impossible to talk about the Blues without mentioning Robert Johnson’s name in the next breath. It’s 2014 and we’re still doing it today. I guess the Devil kept up his part of the bargain.
These songs are us and that’s why I chose to dedicated a blog to this music.
By this point in the blog, I could sense I may be losing some of you. Why does somebody need to listen to music that will depress them? It’s not depression. I don’t get depressed when I listen to the Blues. The Blues are heart wrenching, beautiful stories. It’s crazy that this whole thing started because of a snow storm, but here we are. If Mother Nature forces people indoors with no real means of escape, a person goes somewhere in their head and me, my head went to the Blues. My moods and present situation dictate my choice of music. I’m a free soul, my friends. When you take my choice of escape away, this is what you get; and yet, after all of that, I’m not angry. The Blues are something special. The Blues should be discovered by the today’s generation. The Blues are one part of America’s oral history. These songs are us and that’s why I chose to dedicated a blog to this music.
… enjoy the trip through Hell you will surely be taken on. You will be awakened.
The Blues are even celebrated and revisited today. Artists like Erika Badu, Eric Clapton, and Blues Traveler bring their own form of the Blues to a whole new generation. There’s a reason why the Blues have transcended to today’s age. People can always do with a little soul exposure every once in a while; and that will never get old. Personally, if you’re keen to discover the Blues for yourself, then you need to first listen to the grandmasters that I mentioned in the first paragraph of this blog. It’s best to start your journey there and then see how far down the rabbit hole your soul is willing to go. Listen to the many varied stories that the Blues have to offer you and enjoy the trip through Hell you will surely be taken on. You will be awakened.