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Happy to be really Blue & Lonesome

January 3, 2018

On December 2, 2016 the Rolling Stones paid tribute to Chicago Blues in a new classic album; Blue & Lonesome.  I am a Chicago boy who discovered the nasty music of Blues as a teen ager.  It was considered “black music” that just did not fit in popular culture.  Only “underground radio” stations on the FM band would play blues on rare occasion.

The British invasion of popular music in the 1960’s included must misfit trouble makers; The Animals & The Rolling Stones.  Their love of our blues music from Chicago forced the world to discover what this music was all about.  Yes, Eric Clapton with his kick ass trio Cream did have awesome tracks of blues.  Watching them in Chicago on their farewell tour perform Crossroads remains one of my highlights to this day.

I am playing tracks off my computer now as I reflect on how the music of Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, James Cotton and Little Walter entered the bloodstream of Millennials.  The Blues is direct in connecting to what everybody wants.  Muddy Waters knew everybody been fighting about the same thing!  Lust, love, loneliness are all in the same dark alley nice people do not talk about.

There are many people who do not like listening to real blues.  That is alright.  Not everybody is chasing their red rooster all over town.  I found it funny that guys in their 20’s came from England to hang out in Chicago listening to ignored black blues musicians.  I am still discovering what I should already know.

If you have never liked blues music, then it may be too much to listen to Blue & Lonesome.  I am happy that over 50 years later, my favorite music is kicking open the door for Millennials to give a listen.  Those 20 year old English musicians sat on Southside Chicago black night clubs back in the 1960’s to learn from the elders of Chicago Blues.  These musicians are elderly but the music has vitality that defies age.

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