Blues Music: Its Origins and Evolution

$162 Limited inc GST / $146
Blues Music: Its Origins and Evolution

<p>“The Blues” is the outstanding American contribution to world music. It is the basis of Pop, Rock and Roll and Jazz and is essentially Black Folk Music. The Blues began in the late nineteenth

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“The Blues” is the outstanding American contribution to world music. It is the basis of Pop, Rock and Roll and Jazz and is essentially Black Folk Music. The Blues began in the late nineteenth century in the Mississippi Delta and moved to the urban centres of St. Louis, Memphis and Chicago. We will outline the story of the Blues and view rare performances by Blues greats. Each student will receive several compilation CDs covering the course.


COURSE OUTLINE

  • The Origins of the Blues and Regional Blues Styles: Tonight, we will begin the course with the acoustic blues of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charley Patton and Robert Johnson. We will explore the Mississippi Delta region. The class will view excerpts from films such as “The Last of the Mississippi Jukes”, “Deep Blues” and “In Search of Robert Johnson”. We will also hear notable examples of the development of Blues Music. We will also see how the blues took on various regional styles.
  • The Delta Blues: The origin area of the Blues is the fertile Mississippi Delta area in central western Mississippi. Just about every major and influential blues artist was born here. This area extends over into Arkansas as well. This type of blues is characterised by slide guitar, harmonica and sometimes piano, but usually is played by a single artist. This is the acoustic country-style blues which is Black Folk Music and still popular today. We will discuss Robert Johnson, Blind Willie Johnson, Skip James, Son House and others.
  • Memphis Blues: Tonight, we follow the career of B.B. King as well as other great Memphis based artists. B.B. has been the model and ambassador of the Blues for over 50 years. He is one of the last living great Bluesmen. We will see footage of this great performer from at least three different concerts including footage from the film “Road to Memphis” and listen to some splendid examples of his style of playing the blues. We will also hear and see the great other King; Albert King who was the most influential guitarist of the 1960s.
  • The Chicago Blues: A look at the Blues of John Lee Hooker and the great Chicago Blues Bands of Howling Wolf and Muddy Waters. These were essentially the models for the modern Rock and Roll Band. We will hear and view many examples of these greats as well as Sonny Boy Williamson (#1 and 2) and others. Chicago became the “Blues City”. We will also examine the “West Side Blues” that influenced so many rock guitarists in the 1960s and beyond. These include Freddie King, Otis Rush, Magic Sam and Buddy Guy.
  • Modern Blues Evolution and Extensions: Starting with John Mayall’s now famous 70th Birthday concert with Eric Clapton. We will go on to see and hear the late great Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. The influence of Eric Clapton will also be discussed. We will also see Paul Butterfield’s last performance and some recently discovered rare footage. We will also see Rory Gallagher and newer players such as Gary Moore and Joe Bonamassa. This will be a wonderful evening of memories and blues influences.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Explain the place of the Blues in the history of modern music.
  2. Evaluate the influences of various artists who have made the Blues famous worldwide.
  3. Define the development of the Blues as a genre and its various regional forms.
  4. Identify the personalities and background of the famous Bluesmen.
  5. Overall, to enjoy and extend one’s knowledge and appreciation of this important art form.