in this post I will talk about the blues origins, from the beginnings to the present day. As already mentioned in another post, we can say that blues is the progenitor of all modern styles.
The Blues Origins
The blues was born and developed following the slavery of the African-American communities, in the southern regions of the United States. The date of birth of the encounter between poetic and musical expression should be placed around 1870. This means a harsh denunciation of a vast African-American community that suddenly finds the strength and courage to express its anguish in a lament of pain.
Sometimes translates into an impetuous war hymn, into a cry provoked by poverty, by the emptiness that is unconsciously behind him. Thus, the great forced migration develops. This phenomenon has not only an economic character since at the time. In 1776 the first advertisements appeared in the newspapers offering slaves to the problem of assumptions and also political appearances.
Despite being slaves settled in the territory of Louisiana. They enjoyed greater freedom than they did for those who had arrived in the English and Puritan estates. This explains why the first blues, in their ways of expression, were born in New Orleans and its surroundings on the banks of the Mississippi where they could continue to express their spirituality.
In the blues song however the sadness and the daily pain that turns into hope of improvement still persists and it is originally expressed with songs accompanied by the only beat of the hands and not by the music, always preserving the characteristic aspect of poetry able to express a condition of desolate regret and bitter nostalgia.
Blues from the 20s to the 40s
The singers of the classic blues between the 20s and 40s were often accompanied by an orchestra, so they are considered the precursors of all American music. An example was Bessie Smith who knew the glory until the 1920s thanks to her powerful contralto voice that gave her music a truly dramatic dimension. The blues of the fields, probably born in the area of the Mississippi Delta, developed in a hasty manner in the South-west or in the East Coast linked to musical traditions. From 1925 the record companies were interested by the sector. There are various styles that appeared in this period: the Delta blues, the East coast, the Texas blues.
Blues from the 40s to the 60s
Following the economic activity in relation to the Second World War. A certain number of African-American men obtained financial facilities which gave them access to the middle class of the local society. Electricity gave the Blues a second youth.
The electric guitar allowed a multiplication of sororities and a diversification of sound effects thanks in particular to B.B. King of Memphis and Muddy Waters of Chicago. In the late 1950s the renovation came from the western district of Chicago, this WEST SIDE SOUND was the expression of a desperate and oppressive climate.
Blues from the 60s to the 80s
At the end of the sixties, the blues was not a dominant force on the commercial market. Many of his musicians performed for an audience greater than they had ever had. From then has been more or less constant talk of blues with a return to the past and an increase in popularity but no one has ever talked about his death.
Blues from the 80s to today
After 1980 in the blues there have been notable changes that have made this period a significant turning point in the history of music. The biggest change was probably the “discovery” of the blues by an audience that grew up with Rock ‘n’ roll. In the 1980s it was not difficult to find blues groups with a large following in all social classes. Furthermore, in the last two decades, the music scene has lost some blues legends that helped define the musical language, like Luther Allison, Albert Collins, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan above all.
However, in recent years, a new generation of talents has appeared. Young musicians capable not only of blues but also hard rock, country and even jazz. Influenced by their great predecessors, they work within the rich blues tradition, instilling their personal inspiration. Today the blues is a big business that includes radios, clubs, movies, festivals and records that sell millions of copies; in this period, there are artists who have contributed to making the blues a much more popular music than was previously imaginable.
Blues music is the real star of all time. Everyone, from hard rock to country musicians, went through the blues. To understand what the blues is, you must first understand what it is not. By doing so it’s important to get rid of some preconceived ideas. Over the years the blues has been portrayed as a slow and sad music full of desolate images of personal despair rather than music, practically a lament. Of course, it’s all fake. The blues is a means of self-expression, a kind of catharsis, we can say.
I hope you found the Blues origins interesting, don’t hesitate to comment.
Rock on and have fun