Blues heresy

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by Rusty Silver, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Rusty Silver

    Rusty Silver Gretschie

    Ok, I know my opinion will not be very popular, but I tell it like it is:
    I really love great partv of Blues (John Lee Hooker, Ellmore James, Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters and many, many bands who plays old blues stuff!... )
    ... BUT...
    I find BB King boring. :eek:
    And I also find that Joe Bonamassa, Gary Moore and Eric Clapton are boring. :eek::eek::eek:
    I mean that those artists are obviously great musicians, but their music really doesn't move me.
    I can't exactly explain even to myself which is the reason, it's something about what I feel a "different" feeling of the guitar playng or of the songs... anyway...

    what do you think?
  2. Rock Lajoint

    Rock Lajoint Synchromatic

    Nov 16, 2014
    Sussex, England
    I'm inclined to agree with you.
    mschafft likes this.
  3. benjwri

    benjwri Country Gent

    Oct 27, 2011
    Central ON Can
    I do love the blues and I do like EC, BB. Not a big fan of JB, and GM is more of a rocker (MOO) althouh his 'still got tbe blues' is one of my favs! My favorites would be BuddyWhittington and JJ Kale (RIP).
  4. blueruins

    blueruins Country Gent

    May 28, 2013
    Savannah, GA
    I’m willing to bet that if you’d seen BB King live you would feel it.
  5. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    Everyone's taste is valid.

    But to blaspheme against BB King is unforgiveable. Sorry, you are wrong on this one. :p
  6. Yukimajo

    Yukimajo Gretschie

    Nov 4, 2018
    Exeter UK
    I think the problem I have with JB is that he is a rich white kid from Chicago trying to play a form of music developed by dirt poor black guys from the south. Eric Clapton is one of the most tedious guitarists of all time. Again like the OP I am not disputing their abilities as guitarists, but they make the blues sterile. I'd even have to put some of Johnny Winter's excessive masturbatory solos in here as well.
    ponca likes this.
  7. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I love blues. I loved Gary Moore's playing, until he started playing blues. Blues enjoyed a big resurgence in the '80s largely tnx to SRV. To me this was just an obvious attempt by Gary to show the world he "could all that stuff too". Unfortunately today many think that is what blues is.
    ruger9 likes this.
  8. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    Everytime I hear GM (blues), I think "yup, that's where Bonamassa got it". I do enjoy some Bonamassa, but he is kind of a generic heavy blues... his earlier stuff was more interesting than the homogenized Kevin Shirley-produced stuff (which is when JB got really popular, so it was a successful pairing). Altho I will say I like Joe's recent stuff, where he covering the 3 Kings. Still plays too many damn notes, but I much prefer the "American blues with horn section and backup singers" Joe to the "Gary Moore british blues Kevin Shirley" Joe.

    blueruins and Ricochet like this.
  9. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    BB's career spanned over 60 years, i'm betting you aren't familiar with the real old stuff.......exciting indeed.

    Go back!!!
  10. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    yeah man LOVE the early, T-Bone inspired BB!!!

    blueruins and Misty Mountain Hop like this.
  11. dak55

    dak55 Country Gent

    No heresy for me. Without researching the backgrounds of every modern "blues" player, it is not even realistic to expect they lived through many, if any, of the experiences as did the pioneers of the genre which would account for its more genuine feel. I agree there is something about Bonamassa (other than too may letters in his last name) that just never rang true to me. To throw BB into this mix is a stretch for me though. I can't listen to any music of any specific genre exclusively or I get bored with it all. My tastes vary from classical to metal,to you name it, except for punk, hip hop, or rap which I have no use for.

    Rarely is anything as good as the original.
    Alberta_Slim likes this.
  12. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    One of the things I really liked about this forum when I got here was that there were no, I hate this performer, or that performer threads, like what was so popular on the other forums I was on. I honestly feel threads like this serve no purpose.

    JB, EC and BB all deserve more respect that this even if you don’t like their music.
  13. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    If you look beyond the surface, BB King was a hell of a player who could play Charlie Christian Jazz material without much effort. He was savvy and knew music inside and out. When you consider that he grew up in a sharecropper’s cabin and was orphaned at an early age, his knowledge of music shows incredible determination on his part. As his career progressed, he ran into the same problem that many artists run into, he was expected to sound like the material his fans were most familiar with. Sometimes he simply punctuated each phrase with a single note.

    There’s a curious phenomenon with guitarists that sing; they morph into singers whom play a little guitar on the side. I live to play guitar, but more and more of my energy seems to be devoted to the vocals. The guitar work can easily become distilled to the bare essentials.
  14. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    While I agree with Rusty Silver on JB and GM totally, and EC in parts, it's not only the old Bluesman who are worth hearing. I have a hard time listening to John Lee Hooker playing his songs far beyond a structure the band can rely on.
    There is a lot of good modern stuff out there: Matt Schofield, Aynsley Lister, Tommy Castro, Thorbjorn Risager and the Black Tornado, Lisa Lystam... others don't float my boat, Samantha Fish, Lance Lopez... it really comes down to personal taste. The other day I was talking with my wife about what makes you like or dislike a musician. It definitely is not about technical abilities, it's feeling and attitude. I do have respect a lot of players, but no love. So let me throw a Link Wray record on the turntable, you won't find Chet Atkins or Steve Vai in my collection.
  15. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    I don't think Gary Moore is a good example for British blues. That overproduced, heavily compressed tone reminds me very much of Joe B, while British for me is Peter Green, Matt Schofield, Aynsley Lister. Mostly more delicate tones than GM or JB. A matter of taste and personal point of view.
  16. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    Yeah, it's a sensitive subject. BB doesn't knock your socks off immediately. But it was all about taste with him. In his later years it seemed to become about just sitting there and being a showman. But his earlier stuff was very cool. Still, he's never been my favorite to listen to. More of a band leader than a soloist by then. It seems to be a thing with some players that get quite old, they give a half hearted attempt. BB, Willie Nelson, Neil Young come to mind. They seem to just throw things out sporadically, sing a few words, cut off the notes, and never actually finish the song well etc. They've probably played those songs 50,000 times and just can't get inspired. Now Buddy Guy, although I don't find him real inspiring, he gives his all to every performance , like he cares.
    The old recordings are pretty rough. Too bad they are not around to do it to today's standards. But Coco Montoya, some Tommy Castro, Robben Ford and others carry on and have moved the art of blues beyond what it used to be. But you have to be willing to redefine what "blues" is a bit to see that.

    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
    ruger9 and Floo like this.
  17. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    I'm a BB King fan. I've worked him a couple of times, met him. Nice guy. He's the real deal. Says more with one note than Bonnamassa does with a thousand.

    As he came into our theater in a wheelchair, I felt sorry for him. I mentioned to one of his crew that I hated to see anyone in a wheelchair, as my mother in law was stuck in one, and that I'd been in one after Nam.
    He replied, "Oh, he ain't hurt, he's just lazy."

    Guys like Clapton and others kept the Blues alive. After Chess Records and the like went down, it was the British guys that kept Blues from disappearing. Gotta give them credit for that. Even now, it's not the most popular genre out there. Joe B and others are still carrying the torch.

    Never forget, as Muddy Waters taught us, "The Blues and Country had a child, and it was called rock and roll."
  18. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    We've had many threads bashing JB. I'm no fan but you have to admire his work ethic. He tours constantly and records several albums a year, with various other players. He also seems like a nice guy and is a real gear hound like most of us.
  19. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Well let me be more controversial. I love blues. For about an hour. Then it starts sounding all the same. I don't think I own any real blues albums, some rock or jazz come close, but blues has always been a genre I respected from arms length.

    Anywho, BB is a tasteful player and his material is approachable so it was very helpful when I started learning guitar.

    I do have to wonder if I would listen to any blues if I didn't play guitar.
    Alberta_Slim and blueruins like this.
  20. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    I've told this story here before but it's a good one. The son of a former patient was in Montreaux a few years ago during the Blues Fest. He and his girlfriend were eating breakfast next to a group of musicians. The two struck up a conversation with the men, as the son was a guitar player. Soon BB came out and joined his band. He invited the American couple to move over to their table. At the end of the very entertaining meal, BB paid their check, gave them front row tickets to that night's show and free passes to a master class BB was leading that afternoon! Lifetime memory.
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