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I wanted to be a blues guitar player. And a singer. And a songwriter. Not a shock jock.
I am fascinated by the places that music comes from, like fife-and-drum blues from southern Mississippi or Cajun music out of Lafayette, Louisiana, shape-note singing, old harp singing from the mountains - I love that stuff. It's like the beginning of rock and roll: something comes down from the hills, and something comes up from the delta.
I like to be very girly, with bows and ruffles on the red carpet. I love pastel colours, especially blue. Me and my sister both because of our eyes look good in blues.
Because the blues is the basis of most American music in the 20th century. It's a 12-bar form that's played by jazz, bluegrass and country musicians. It has a rhythmic vocabulary that's been used by rock n' roll. It's related to spirituals, and even the American fiddle tradition.
I got put out of my church choir because my pastor said, 'We can't have baby sister singing the blues and coming in here and singing on Sunday morning.'
God, I'm just a fat bald guy, 60 years old, singing the blues, you know?
Saturday night is your big night. Everybody used to fry up fish and have one hell of a time. Find me playing till sunrise for 50 cents and a sandwich. And be glad of it. And they really liked the low-down blues.
One of my strongest memories is my father playing bongos in the living room in Detroit listening to Motown radio. He was this skinny white bald guy, but he was really moved by blues and Motown and funk.
I am, and always will be, a blues guitarist.
The main three components are the blues, improvisation - which is some kind of element that people are trying to make it up - and swing, which means even though they're making up music, they're trying to make it up together. It feels great, like you're having a great conversation with somebody.
I find Indian music very funky. I mean it's very soulful, with their own kind of blues. But it's the only other school on the planet that develops improvisation to the high degree that you find in jazz music. So we have a lot of common ground.
The reflection of the world is blues, that's where that part of the music is at. Then you got this other kind of music that's tryin' to come around.
The blues. It runs through all American music. Somebody bending the note. The other is the two-beat groove. It's in New Orleans music, it's in jazz, it's in country music, it's in gospel.
The early influences, in many ways, were in Baltimore. I was passing open windows where there might be a radio playing something funky. In the summertime, sometimes there'd be a man sitting on a step, playing an acoustic guitar, playing some kind of folk blues. The seed had been planted.
I find in my poetry and prose the rhythms and imagery of the best - I mean, when I'm at my best - of the good Southern black preachers. The lyricism of the spirituals and the directness of gospel songs and the mystery of blues are in my music or in my poetry and prose, or I missed everything.
Blues are the songs of despair, but gospel songs are the songs of hope.
The blues are what I've turned to, what has given me inspiration and relief in all the trials of my life.
It's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to make a blues record.
I call myself a blues singer, but you ain't never heard me call myself a blues guitar man.
B. B. King
The blues is a mighty long road. Or it could be a river, one that twists and turns and flows into a sea of limitless musical potential.
I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.
I have been accused of being a very simplistic, very lyrical player, and that's okay. That just comes from the blues, which is my background. But every day you wake up and transcend. You can't ever rest on your laurels.
It was stumbling on to really the bible of the blues, you know, and a very powerful drug to be introduced to us and I absorbed it totally, and it changed my complete outlook on music.
Pop music is aspirin and the blues are vitamins.
I wanna show that gospel, country, blues, rhythm and blues, jazz, rock 'n' roll are all just really one thing. Those are the American music and that is the American culture.
John F. Kennedy
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