Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Blues in My Bones

I am into the blues. This is rarely true of people my age, at least in this area. Most people under 30 that I hear this from are hipster wannabes who say it because it sounds cool, but in my case it's a bred-from-birth genuine love. I was raised on the blues by my father, a blues singer, and mother, an avid blues fan. As kids, my sister and I were taken to blues festivals where we danced on hillsides to performances by the legend of those we'd only later realize we were lucky to get a glimpse of. I've seen Buddy Guy and BB King and a whole lot of other people you've never even heard of.

My stepfather is a guitar player for a local blues outfit called Big Mike and the Perpetrators. Last night, they played at a local benefit concert and, having nothing better to do and having been a delinquent fan of late, I went. It was so great see so many locals greats in one place, many of whom have known me since tweendom and were shocked to see I'm a real-live, grown-up, almost-married lady. I discovered that, if it's possible, I think I love the blues more now than I ever have. I'm a better dancer now, so it's more fun to get out on the floor and shake a tailfeather during the faster numbers. I had forgotten what a comfortable place the dance floor at a blues show is. Unlike the rock fans I'm used to seeing at Brooklyn clubs where my fiance's band plays, blues fans are unabashed about dancing; they don't care how they look, they have got to move, they don't have a choice. These are my people and on the dance floor with them is where I belong.

I realized I have taken the blues for granted. Maybe that's appropriate. It's the blues, it's used it, it will be there for you when you come running back after a long time away. In my life, it's always been around, but in the real world, all the local bands have trouble getting gigs and finding places to let them play such great music. Anyone who is fortunate enough to see a local live blues band play should appreciate what a great show they are getting for the small price of a cover charge. These guys don't play for the money (what a joke!), they play for the love of it and that's what makes them great.

So the next time you see live local blues advertised and think "That sounds cool. I should go to that," and then forget about it, don't. Make a note. Put it on your calendar. Invite some friends to come out and do something different for a change. Tell your favorite local haunts you want to see a blues night fit into their calendar. You and they will be amazed at the crowd it draws. These guys deserve to play great music and you deserve to enjoy it.

Some great local North NJ blues bands:


Frank said...

Can I have faith that you don't put me in the blues hipster category?

Bouncin' Barb said...
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Bouncin' Barb said...

Hi there. I'm new to blogging and found yours by chance. Really enjoyed reading it. My Bouncin Thru Life Blog may entertain you. Check it out and let me know. I'm definitely following you. Keep them coming.

Karen said...

Thanks Barb! I actually haven't blogged in while, but I intend to get back to it shortly, since I will soon have more free time. I read and have enjoyed your blog so far, keep the story coming :)