Blues | Rock - Where's the line?

A discussion of the blues for blues lovers and fans.

Blues | Rock - Where's the line?

Postby hoodoo hand » Sun Sep 15, 2002 4:04 pm

A question on another forum got me thinking about this, and it got me to wondering what you folks think. Obviously, more than a few rock songs are just blues songs played too fast and too loud. But when does it get to be "too"?

Is someone either a blues artist or a rock artist and never the twain shall meet, or do some players stand with a foot in each puddle? What is it that makes you think, "This isn't the blues."?
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby ricochet » Sun Sep 15, 2002 6:06 pm

I've got feet firmly in both camps, and I don't care what you call it if I like it! I was just contemplating posting in the thread elsewhere about "Best Slide Pieces" that Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way" is about the finest slide guitar track I can think of right now. :7

I've been really taking note of how foundational blues is to other types of music; listening to bluegrass, country, rock, old time gospel, etc., I either hear blues licks played in them or run little blues scale (or traditional blues scale) solos and fills over them in my head; what I'm learning to play in blues will work with just about anything!
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby jellyroll baker » Mon Sep 16, 2002 2:51 am

Listen to someone like Johnny Winter. He could play the blues like noone else, but he could also become a stadium rock fiend. The difference between the two Johnny Winters is the difference between the Blues and Rock.

Sorry this isn't very specific, but it should give you a guidepost.
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby sandy » Mon Sep 16, 2002 3:51 am

>Just can't stand Synthesizers.

I don't mind synthesisers per se - it's how they are used (ELP - 1973, I was there). What I don't understand is sampling. With very few exceptions it leaves me wondering why they didn't just play it themselves.
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby mikedev » Mon Sep 16, 2002 6:46 am

Don't know how to define the difference, except to say it's the 'feeling I get'.

I listen to both, and other things too, but Blues moves me in a way rock and other things don't - although I still enjoy them.

So that's cleared that up then!

I just won't listen to elctronic disco though!
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby jellyroll baker » Mon Sep 16, 2002 6:55 am

Actually some electronic disco can be linked to the blues. The family tree goes something like....

BLUES+GOSPEL=SOUL

BOOGIE BLUES+SOUL=James Brown
And James Brown begat Funk, begat Disco who knew POP and begat the dance you hear on the charts today.

Of course, Krautrock (Kraftwerk, Can) belongs on the list somewhere, not to mention Reggae (with "toasting"=rapping and the DJ/Producer as artist) but you get some kind of idea.
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby mikedev » Mon Sep 16, 2002 7:02 am

I like a bit of Soul. I like a bit of Reggae.

Just can't stand Synthesizers.
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby ernest » Mon Sep 16, 2002 6:10 pm

If I watch a concert and I walk away it's blues-rock and if I stay it's blues.
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby ricochet » Mon Sep 16, 2002 10:02 pm

Oh yeah, I was there for ELP, too. Awesome! :7
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby howlnwoof » Mon Sep 16, 2002 11:20 pm

Blues---------Furry Lewis Not blues-------Neil Sedaka
Blues---------Johnny Shines Not Blues-------George Thorogood
Blues---------Blind Willie McTell Not Blues-------Walter Trout
Blues---------Son House Not Blues-------Jonny Lang
Blues---------JB Hutto Not Blues-------Sammy Davis , Jr
Blues---------RL Burnside Not Blues-------Rl Burnside w/ idiot Jon Spencer
Blues--------John Hurt Not Blues-------Foghat
Blues--------Magic Slim Not Blues-------Magic Dick
Blues--------John Primer Not Blues-------Primus

and on and on and on.......................
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby jellyroll baker » Tue Sep 17, 2002 2:43 am

Okay, there's only one thing here we agree on ... ELP were NOT blues (although driving the feedback of a Rhodes is a pretty cool trick).

Regarding sampling, it serves a number of purposes
1) It makes James Brown very rich
2) It provides a groove for 1-chord based music where a simple, basic groove is all that's needed (ie: most rap). You can see this as either laziness, or clever use of available resources.
3) When used well in be a springboard to creativity where a piece of music is transfored into something far beyond its original genre. Listen to the album "Odelay" by Beck or anything by Grandmaster Flash to hear sampling used well. Good, creative sampling tends to be a rather rare beast.
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby sandy » Tue Sep 17, 2002 4:01 am

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Sep-17-02 AT 00:02 AM (CDT)]>Okay, there's only one thing here we agree on ... ELP were
>NOT blues

Is it mischeivous to point out that Keith Emerson recorded a version of Honky Tonk Train Blues? And I have always understood that there was a chance that ELP was going to be HELP, with Hendrix. That might have added a bluesier edge.

>
> Listen to the album "Odelay" by Beck or
>anything by Grandmaster Flash to hear sampling used well.
>Good, creative sampling tends to be a rather rare beast.

I tried listening to Odelay when it came out. Several people said they thought it would be just the sort of thing I would like, but it did absolutely nothing for me. In fact, for reasons I don't really understand, it got right up my nose, and I ended up actively disliking it. I hadn't thought about it using sampling, so in a way that shows some consistency on my part. I like whoever it is that does the Elvis "Little Less Conversation" stuff that's been on the radio a lot. Well, it makes me laugh - and that's a good thing.

Re the line between rock and blues (if it matters) - I really can't see that George Thorogood is not blues. I'm willing to concede that some purists won't accept Trout, but Thorogood??? I think Albert Collins thought it was blues (see Live Aid and various tours).
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby bosco » Tue Sep 17, 2002 6:08 am

>Listen to the album "Odelay" by Beck or
>anything by Grandmaster Flash to hear sampling used well.
>Good, creative sampling tends to be a rather rare beast.

Funny, that's exactly the kind of crap I'm trying to avoid when I listen to real blues and follow the BigRoad. I'm a big fan of Chris Rock's humor, but having to tolerate Grandmaster's "noise" on Rock's show barely makes it worthwhile and I find it repulsive. I have read so much negative feedback about Burnside's use of sampling that I have no interest in even hearing it. If Grandmaster is the top of the heap, does that mean it gets worse ??? Oh Boy...

It appears this discussion has turned from Blues vs Rock, to Live vs Fake music. How much talent does it take to rhyme to electronic loops and drumtracks versus singing and playing instruments? And then rapper's have the nerve to introduce the next "song." When Curtis Blow introduced himself to the world as the first "rapper" back in the early 80's, I remember thinking then...this barely qualifies as an art form, let alone music!

"Just my opinion, I could be wrong!" Dennis Miller
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby houndog » Tue Sep 17, 2002 2:09 pm

Hmmmm tricky...pretty individualistic when you think about it...

Chuck Berry seems to present me with a number of dilemmas.

1/He is more R+Blues than R+R(like R+R as in"Johnny Be Good"not "Welcome to the junnnngggle..ahhh)given his rythmic structures.

2/ He is America's greatest living lyric writer, but his voice is not a strong blues voice...but his words are blues..?

3/ His guitar playing is so dismissive as to be unbelievably brilliant...is it Blues or Jazz or R+B or R+R...?

4/ His use of instrument phrasing is very sparse, compared to his charting contemporaries..this is found in the blues.

5/He uses guitar tone superbly...this is blues thing too...

6/ He has regularly been ripped off +turned over by Whitey...this is a requirement in the blues...

7/ His insinuation is also very bluesy ...the (near) turnaround in Nadine with the(almost)horn part is driving me demented(too cool) and follows on the blues tradition of (ie Robert Johnson's) implied notes .


...still don't know though..

adios,
Lovat.
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby allanlummox » Tue Sep 17, 2002 2:14 pm

Y'know, all the anti-Rap & Hip-hop noise has always seemed funny to me.

Funny, like Hip hop is here to stay...just get used to it. If you don't like it, you don't have to slam it.

& hell, yes, that stuff takes talent.
A lot of those guys are dedicated musical fanatics.

It's easy to forget that you learn to listen...& that music you haven't learned to listen to can often sound...unmusical.

Challenge yourselves...get some Klezmer or some Soukous or even some Rap & learn how to listen to it before you just go to town on it.

Or haven't you ever heard what people who don't like it say about the Blues & Rock?
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