[128] In the early 20th century, the blues was considered disreputable, especially as white audiences began listening to the blues during the 1920s. That blue notes predate their use in blues and have an African origin is attested to by "A Negro Love Song", by the English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, from his African Suite for Piano, written in 1898, which contains blue third and seventh notes. The first commercial recording of vocal blues by an African-American singer: Traditional spiritual performed by Texas gospel singer, Chicago blues of the late prewar era, the so-called, "Blues singing is about emotion. Although blues (as it is now known) can be seen as a musical style based on both European harmonic structure and the African call-and-response tradition that transformed into an interplay of voice and guitar,[49][50] the blues form itself bears no resemblance to the melodic styles of the West African griots. [106] Early traditional blues verses consisted of a single line repeated four times. Blues musicians are musical artists who are primarily recognized as writing, performing, and recording blues music. Blues guitarist and vocalist Keb' Mo' performed his blues rendition of "America, the Beautiful" in 2006 to close out the final season of the television series The West Wing. John Lee Hooker's blues is more "personal", based on Hooker's deep rough voice accompanied by a single electric guitar. Carr accompanied himself on the piano with Scrapper Blackwell on guitar, a format that continued well into the 1950s with artists such as Charles Brown and even Nat "King" Cole.[69]. In 1986 the album Strong Persuader announced Robert Cray as a major blues artist. The Texas blues is characterized by high, clear singing accompanied by supple guitar lines that consist typically of single-string picked arpeggios rather than strummed chords. While the style is often associated with solo piano, boogie-woogie was also used to accompany singers and, as a solo part, in bands and small combos. This is put together as 3 phrases or sections, each being 4 bars long. Although it's almost certainly not true, a legend about Bessie Smith, the Empress of the Blues, bears repeating if only for the very remarkable fact that it achieved wide currency in the first place. [110] Through these artists and others, blues music influenced the development of rock music. Pianist Memphis Slim began his career in Memphis, but his distinct style was smoother and had some swing elements. It was initially a folk music popular among former slaves living in the Mississippi Delta, the flat plain between the Yazoo and Mississippi rivers. Other harp players such as Big Walter Horton were also influential. 1998 brought a sequel, Blues Brothers 2000 that, while not holding as great a critical and financial success, featured a much larger number of blues artists, such as B.B. Boogie-Woogie style was characterized by a regular bass figure, an ostinato or riff and shifts of level in the left hand, elaborating each chord and trills and decorations in the right hand. The first appearance of the blues is often dated to after the ending of slavery and, later, the development of juke joints. R&B music can be traced back to spirituals and blues. It may be sending you baby, but it's worrying the hell out of me. The 12-bar blues structure can be found even in novelty pop songs, such as Bob Dylan's "Obviously Five Believers" and Esther and Abi Ofarim's "Cinderella Rockefella". B. These performers were primarily stage singers backed by jazz bands; their style is known as classic blues. This marketing strategy reinforced trends in urban blues music such as the use of electric instruments and amplification and the generalization of the blues beat, the blues shuffle, which became ubiquitous in rhythm and blues (R&B). "[80], Urban male performers included popular black musicians of the era, such as Tampa Red, Big Bill Broonzy and Leroy Carr. Contemporary blues music is nurtured by several blues labels such as: Alligator Records, Ruf Records, Severn Records, Chess Records (MCA), Delmark Records, NorthernBlues Music, Fat Possum Records and Vanguard Records (Artemis Records). [129] Almost 30 years later, Mahal wrote blues for, and performed a banjo composition, claw-hammer style, in the 2001 movie release Songcatcher, which focused on the story of the preservation of the roots music of Appalachia. Their style is characterized by the use of electric guitar, sometimes slide guitar, harmonica, and a rhythm section of bass and drums. Call-and-response shouts were an early form of blues-like music; they were a "functional expression ... style without accompaniment or harmony and unbounded by the formality of any particular musical structure". Eric Clapton, known for his performances with the Blues Breakers and Cream, made a comeback in the 1990s with his album Unplugged, in which he played some standard blues numbers on acoustic guitar. However, beginning in the 1990s, digital multitrack recording and other technological advances and new marketing strategies including video clip production increased costs, challenging the spontaneity and improvisation that are an important component of blues music. Zydeco musicians used electric solo guitar and cajun arrangements of blues standards. Dorsey helped to popularize Gospel music. It originated with the slaves that were brought over from West Africa. [131], This article is about the music genre. The lyrics of early traditional blues verses probably often consisted of a single line repeated four times. Handy was a formally trained musician, composer and arranger who helped to popularize the blues by transcribing and orchestrating blues in an almost symphonic style, with bands and singers. [43] The first appearance of the blues is usually dated after the Emancipation Act of 1863,[34] between 1860s and 1890s,[2] a period that coincides with post-emancipation and later, the establishment of juke joints as places where blacks went to listen to music, dance, or gamble after a hard day's work. In Music. The electric guitar and the amplified harmonica created a driving sound of great rhythmic and emotional intensity. Bluesmen such as Big Bill Broonzy and Willie Dixon started looking for new markets in Europe. The first publication of blues sheet music may have been "I Got the Blues", published by New Orleans musician Antonio Maggio in 1908 and described as "the earliest published composition known to link the condition of having the blues to the musical form that would become popularly known as 'the blues. [84], The transition from country blues to urban blues that began in the 1920s was driven by the successive waves of economic crisis and booms that led many rural blacks to move to urban areas, in a movement known as the Great Migration. His album Alabama Blues contained a song with the following lyric: I never will go back to Alabama, that is not the place for me (2x) Ragtime was known more by the public after it was introduced by … [104], By the beginning of the 1960s, genres influenced by African American music such as rock and roll and soul were part of mainstream popular music. Our latest episode for parents features the topic of empathy. Performers such as Frank Stokes, Sleepy John Estes, Robert Wilkins, Joe McCoy, Casey Bill Weldon and Memphis Minnie used a variety of unusual instruments such as washboard, fiddle, kazoo or mandolin. Blues and jazz are closely related; such seminal jazzmen as Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong employed blues elements in their music. [45], According to Lawrence Levine, "there was a direct relationship between the national ideological emphasis upon the individual, the popularity of Booker T. Washington's teachings, and the rise of the blues." Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads. His style of music was not exactly rockabilly but it has been often called real rock and roll (this is a label he shares with several African American rock and roll performers).[125][126]. The development of this musical genre was traced back in 1940s. The blues have had their greatest influence on rock music. Blues Music Facts. [6][7], In lyrics the phrase is often used to describe a depressed mood. [73][74], City or urban blues styles were more codified and elaborate, as a performer was no longer within their local, immediate community, and had to adapt to a larger, more varied audience's aesthetic. The blues became adapted to the more sophisticated urban environment. The blues chords associated to a twelve-bar blues are typically a set of three different chords played over a 12-bar scheme. Blues shuffles or walking bass reinforce the trance-like rhythm and form a repetitive effect known as the groove. Francis Davis's The History of the Blues is a groundbreaking rethinking of the blues that fearlessly examines how race relations have altered perceptions of the music. King introduced a sophisticated style of guitar soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that influenced many later electric blues guitarists. [25] Other chord progressions, such as 8-bar forms, are still considered blues; examples include "How Long Blues", "Trouble in Mind", and Big Bill Broonzy's "Key to the Highway". Most artists of the Chicago blues style recorded for the Chicago-based Chess Records and Checker Records labels. Garofalo, p. 44. Inevitably, the next generation of black performers, like Bo Diddley, Little Richard, and Ray Charles, began taking their cues from R&B—which led to the next major chapter in the history of the blues. It is associated with the newly acquired freedom of the former slaves. Chicago became a center for electric blues from 1948 on, when Muddy Waters recorded his first success, "I Can't Be Satisfied". Chicago blues also influenced Louisiana's zydeco music,[95] with Clifton Chenier[96] using blues accents. [48], Blues has evolved from the unaccompanied vocal music and oral traditions of slaves imported from West Africa and rural blacks into a wide variety of styles and subgenres, with regional variations across the United States. [24] With the popularity of early performers, such as Bessie Smith, use of the twelve-bar blues spread across the music industry during the 1920s and 30s. They sometimes expose the quirky side to a personality or an interest outside their musical career, and they will often miss out the most … Tracing its origins from the Mississippi Delta to its amplification in Chicago right after World War II, Davis argues for an examination of the blues in its own right, not just as a precursor to jazz and rock 'n' roll. [17] Tampa Red's classic "Tight Like That" (1928) is a sly wordplay with the double meaning of being "tight" with someone coupled with a more salacious physical familiarity. Some labels are famous for rediscovering and remastering blues rarities, including Arhoolie Records, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (heir of Folkways Records), and Yazoo Records (Shanachie Records).[118]. While popular musicians like Bo Diddley[88] and Chuck Berry,[94] both recording for Chess, were influenced by the Chicago blues, their enthusiastic playing styles departed from the melancholy aspects of blues. After World War II they were supplanted by a new generation of bluesmen that included Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, Little Walter Jacobs, Buddy Guy, and Koko Taylor. However, the jump blues of the 1940s mixed both styles. The origins of the blues are also closely related to the religious music of the Afro-American community, the spirituals. Shortened over time to “the blues,” it came to mean a state of agitation or depression. Songs from this genre include "Scratch my Back", "She's Tough" and "I'm a King Bee". These artists all began their musical careers in the 1970s but they did not achieve international success until the next decade.[111]. Several scholars characterize the development of blues music in the early 1900s as a move from group performance to individualized performance. On a guitar this may be played as a simple steady bass or it may add to that stepwise quarter note motion from the fifth to the sixth of the chord and back. [60] The style also was closely related to ragtime, which developed at about the same time, though the blues better preserved "the original melodic patterns of African music". B. They are labeled by Roman numbers referring to the degrees of the progression. [130] He also participated in the rendition of compilations of major blues artists in a series of high-quality CDs. Singers such as Blind Willie McTell and Blind Boy Fuller performed in the southeastern "delicate and lyrical" Piedmont blues tradition, which used an elaborate ragtime-based fingerpicking guitar technique. [92] After Phillips discovered Elvis Presley in 1954, the Sun label turned to the rapidly expanding white audience and started recording mostly rock 'n' roll.[93]. [58] However, in the 1920s, when country blues began to be recorded, the use of the banjo in blues music was quite marginal and limited to individuals such as Papa Charlie Jackson and later Gus Cannon. Many blues musicians based in Memphis moved to Chicago in the late 1930s or early 1940s and became part of the urban blues movement. Handy's "The Memphis Blues" followed in the same year. Contemporary African-American performers who work in this style of the blues include Bobby Rush, Denise LaSalle, Sir Charles Jones, Bettye LaVette, Marvin Sease, Peggy Scott-Adams, Mel Waiters, Clarence Carter, Dr. "Feelgood" Potts, O.B. 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