What is Blues?
An enlightened type of music of black American origin characterized by freedom of expression (often referred to as, improvisation) a pursuit of happiness, (often expressed through spontaneous movement or dancing) and usually propelled by a 2/4 or 4/4 dance rhythm. The blues first emerged at the beginning of the 20th Century in New Orleans, Louisiana. Trumpet, woodwind instruments, guitar, and piano are particularly associated with early blues. Subsequent derivatives include jazz, swing, dixieland, bebop, r&b and rock and roll. [Chris Thomas King]
What is Folk-Blues?
"Folk [blues] songs are the musical expression of preliterate or illiterate communities and necessarily pass directly from singer to singer." [Dave Van Ronk] Ronk, Dave, and Elijah Wald. The Mayor of MacDougal Street: A Memoir of the '60s Folk Revival. Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo; 2006. Print.
What is Delta-Blues?
During the folk revival of the 1960s, revisionists, created a sub-genre, delta blues — “delta” is another way of saying “folk blues,” “primitive blues,” “illiterate blues,” and “agrarian blues.” [Chris Thomas King]
What is Jazz?
Jazz is a misnomer of blues. It began instrumentally, examples, "Jelly Roll Blues" "West End Blues" "Dippermouth Blues" for more see above, “What Is Blues.” [Chris Thomas King]
Blues Origins and Social Context
Blues, in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the beginning of the 20th Century meant blue entertainment, music not fit for polite society, music that was subversive, risqué, dissonant, bawdy, and conspicuously secular. Blues often mocked antiquated superstitions. Blues was the soundtrack to social progress and tolerance, it challenged the tyranny of the Church, because of this, it was demonized.
The blues, bohemian in origin, was loathed by the bourgeois; it was a threat to victorian prudishness. By the 1920s at the height of prohibition, blues was enthralling the nation. To dissuade the public, a concerted effort by polite society, turned the progressive word “blues” into a pejorative, forcing its practitioners to subsequently avoid being labeled “blues” in order to get good paying jobs in respectable venues.
I’ve never shied away from being called a “blues artist.” Unfortunately, the public has, over the pass 100 years, forgotten its true meaning, how revolutionary it was at the turn of the 20th Century. The blues planted the seeds for America’s counter-culture, its quintessentially American music. I am proud to be its ambassador. [Chris Thomas King]