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Blues in London
often talk in blues circles about 'keeping the blues alive' but all
too usually this refers to such a tired old re-hashed, re-heated pale imitation
of a second hand cliche that you might be forgiven for thinking the kindest
thing for all concerned would actually be to turn the life-support machinery
For most non-enthusiasts 'The Blues' has come to mean,
if it means anything at all, a cliche of rural misery and racial stereotypes,
a middle aged accountant with a Strat and a hat singing
about 'goin' down to the roadhouse' in between interminable guitar solos.
fact there is much more going on than that, and blame for this mis-conception must lie with the blues establishement. Blues
music doesn't need to be kept alive, it's doing very well all on it's own
thank you very much. That
of the newer players who are making their contribution
today are reluctant to even use the word 'blues' is a damning
indictment of the powers that be within blues over the past 20
years or so.
is and always has been an important aspect of blues, but so has innovation
and development and, just as it's always done, blues is continuing to evolve and reflect the
changing times and lifestyles of the people who play it. What's
needed is not inter-faction antipathy - "The only REAL blues is..."
- but an open and inclusive appreciation of blues in all it's forms
and modern day mutations.
is FOLK music - in other words it's music that come from us, the folk, rather than them, the corporate suppliers of 'entertainment'. The real enemy is the idea that music is no longer something
that we DO, but something that we BUY.
has a wealth of all shades of blues talent and is uniquely
placed to be a world center of blues. That it is not, and that
many international blues artists will tour all over Europe and not
come to London, is something we need to change. The change
will come not by banging
on about how great it was round at Alexis Korners house in 1962 (even
if it was), but by
celebrating and nurturing the blues scene here and now.
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