Stage Fright

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Re: Stage Fright

Postby Tom Jonas » 16 Apr 2016, 19:14

Do you think you can sing the blues without living the blues?


Yes you can.
But I should start listening to Taste. I have avoided them deliberately, because I imagined they were not ripe yet.
An excellent verdict from Peter Green, who is one of my absolute favourites. He became ill far too soon. I think it is so sad to see him in his Splinter Group. Where did his blues-voice end up? Sorry Peter, but your singing nowadays is like something from the Old-Folks home. But, once, you were the greatest.
(And Gary Moore is doing it again on Blues for Greeny)
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Re: Stage Fright

Postby Annie Elliott » 18 Apr 2016, 20:46

Tom Jonas wrote:
Do you think you can sing the blues without living the blues?


Yes you can.


If you really believe this you should probably start much farther back with the source of American Blues, African American singers and not the famous ones. To perform with the raw power Rory achieves in his later work, well no teenager is going to get that. Sorry but have to disagree with you 100%
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Re: Stage Fright

Postby Shin Kicker » 18 Apr 2016, 21:58

Annie Elliott wrote: Do you think you can sing the blues without living the blues?


Yes. That's like asking: "Do you have to be lutheran to play Bach?" :).
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Re: Stage Fright

Postby Annie Elliott » 19 Apr 2016, 09:23

Shin Kicker wrote:
Yes. That's like asking: "Do you have to be lutheran to play Bach?" :).


Them's apples and oranges and yer blues sung by Hannah Montana! :lol:
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Re: Stage Fright

Postby CiaSeattle » 20 Apr 2016, 05:23

Annie Elliott wrote:
RobertaSparrow wrote:
Annie Elliott wrote: Do you think you can sing the blues without living the blues?


I'm curious to know what exactly "living the blues" means. Is it being poisoned and dying in agony like Robert Johnson? Going to prison multiple times like Huddie Ledbetter, or dying of a heroin overdose at 27 like Janis? Janis once said "you don't have to be black to sing the blues, you just have to suffer". Everyone has suffering in their life to some degree, what makes a good blues musician or singer is to have the empathy to feel not only their own pain, but that of others, to have a deep understanding of the human condition, and the ability to put it into words and music. John Hammond Jr. is a good example, he certainly had didn't have it rough, but he sure can play the blues and make me believe it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R2WnvQ ... oWlTNKZTFg

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Re: Stage Fright

Postby Annie Elliott » 20 Apr 2016, 10:08

CiaSeattle wrote:
I'm curious to know what exactly "living the blues" means. Is it being poisoned and dying in agony like Robert Johnson? Going to prison multiple times like Huddie Ledbetter, or dying of a heroin overdose at 27 like Janis? Janis once said "you don't have to be black to sing the blues, you just have to suffer". Everyone has suffering in their life to some degree, what makes a good blues musician or singer is to have the empathy to feel not only their own pain, but that of others, to have a deep understanding of the human condition, and the ability to put it into words and music. John Hammond Jr. is a good example, he certainly had didn't have it rough, but he sure can play the blues and make me believe it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R2WnvQ ... oWlTNKZTFg


IMO Janice was on to something, although of course the suffering of African Americans can never be overstated and neither can their contribution to American music. When I think about walking up to someone like Muddy Waters and saying, "You know, Muddy, I don't think you need to be black or to suffer to really understand the blues," it sort of makes me cringe.

It's the task of every artist to address the human condition, that is not particular to the blues. But I think his depth of experience and, yes, suffering, informs the older Rory's work in a way the younger Rory couldn't have understood, and his later performances are richer for it. Of course I love him at any age, but when people say he got somehow weaker as he got older...I think they're missing the point entirely.

I don't know much about John Hammond Jr but I did watch the video...I would never compare him to Rory.
Last edited by Annie Elliott on 20 Apr 2016, 10:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stage Fright

Postby ailish78 » 20 Apr 2016, 10:47

I agree with you entirely Annie. Rory understood the blues even if he didn't suffer as such,and he got better with age. Certainly not weaker. Please watch the interview with him from Cologne 1976. He was very young here (28 I think), yet he had a lot of insight. He says himself that you don't have to be supressed or suffer in order to play the blues. You just have to feel the music and basically that the music says it all. I think this is probably one of my favourite interviews. He wasn't an intellectual, but I do think he comes across as very intelligent and self-aware. Not many people at that age know what they feel and what they want to do, but it would seem that he did from a very young age. Such a beautiful and humble man. :)
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Re: Stage Fright

Postby Annie Elliott » 20 Apr 2016, 10:52

ailish78 wrote:I agree with you entirely Annie. Rory understood the blues even if he didn't suffer as such,and he got better with age. Certainly not weaker. Please watch the interview with him from Cologne 1976. He was very young here (28 I think), yet he had a lot of insight. He says himself that you don't have to be supressed or suffer in order to play the blues. You just have to feel the music and basically that the music says it all. I think this is probably one of my favourite interviews. He wasn't an intellectual, but I do think he comes across as very intelligent and self-aware. Not many people at that age know what they feel and what they want to do, but it would seem that he did from a very young age. Such a beautiful and humble man. :)



Well said! But I wonder what the 45 year old Rory would have said about his youthful statement :-) And I've always felt the Irish know something about suffering.
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Re: Stage Fright

Postby CiaSeattle » 20 Apr 2016, 16:00

Actually, that was the point I was trying to make, perhaps I didn't express it as well as I could have. The 1977 interview was one I had in mind when I wrote the comment, that Rory understood it wasn't a certain lifestyle, it was a feeling that came from within.

Janis made the comment I referred to when she was challenged about whether she, as a white woman from a middle class upbringing, had the "right" to sing these songs.

As far as John Hammond, I certainly wasn't comparing him with Rory, I was using him as an example of someone who was raised in a "silver spoon" environment, but still understood the feeling within the music. BTW, he was also a musician that Rory respected and referred to as one of his favorites among the current (at the time) young players.
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Re: Stage Fright

Postby RobertaSparrow » 20 Apr 2016, 20:11

CiaSeattle wrote:Actually, that was the point I was trying to make, perhaps I didn't express it as well as I could have. The 1977 interview was one I had in mind when I wrote the comment, that Rory understood it wasn't a certain lifestyle, it was a feeling that came from within.

Janis made the comment I referred to when she was challenged about whether she, as a white woman from a middle class upbringing, had the "right" to sing these songs.

As far as John Hammond, I certainly wasn't comparing him with Rory, I was using him as an example of someone who was raised in a "silver spoon" environment, but still understood the feeling within the music. BTW, he was also a musician that Rory respected and referred to as one of his favorites among the current (at the time) young players.


Rory was very eloquent in how he answered that question. The Interview referenced:



Here is another explanation- courtesy of Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Terry, and Brownie McGhee:



Howlin Wolf-



"The Blues" is an artful interpretation of the human condition. It is a way of giving meaning to the human condition with sound, and that is why it resonates with us. The short answer, IMHO, if you are a human being, you are living the blues, and the longer you have lived, the greater your understanding of what it is. So, Do you think you can sing the blues without living the blues? A better question, Are you a mortal human being who has felt pain, joy, grief, despair, and everything in between?

And now-



I know nothing of this person, don't know what his life has been like up to the point that he sat down with that lap steel and began to play. But he gives voice to the blues.
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