Blues Is Human Experience, Shaun Riley

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Blues Is Human Experience

By Riley

“The blues ain’t nothin’ but a good man feelin’ bad.” This quote from the bluesman Willie Brown in the motion picture crossroads, could more accurately state the blues ain’t nothin’ but a good person feelin’ bad, since throughout its evolution blues music has become an entity embraced by men and woman of all generations, cultures and race. But why is the blues such a universal language.

From its days of inception the blueswere sung by the oppressed Afro Americans of the Deep South. They would use their songs as a vehicle to express emotions they most likely otherwise could not speak. These songs dealt largely with the sorrows and tribulations these people encountered every day. As it progressed, the bluesmanifested into a mode for people to express virtually any topic or emotion, e.g: - joy, sorrow, love, hate, life and death - topics that encompass the human condition. As it found its way to the world, the bluescaptured an audience of varied cultures who recognized this music as a powerful mode of expression. Because of this music, they would garner instruments of their own and fulfil a basic human need - the need to express oneself.

The audience could relate to this music; they understood these songs of reality. They felt the comfort of another being expressing a mutual plight, regardless of the performer’s race or culture. Musician Eric Clapton once recollected on blueslegend, Robert Johnson’s music, saying it “called to me in my confusion; it seemed to echo something that I had always felt.”

The blueshas travelled far and wide, touching the hearts of millions. Indeed, the bluesdoes not discriminate; lending itself to anyone who obtains comfort in relating to another, or has the need to express themselves. The blueshold the very threads that bind us together, the tales of life as we all know it. The bluesis the human experience.

Read more Blues Heroes Stories
from the bookTouched By the Blues

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