I love blues music. It has such soulful character. My favorite blues-performers (Big Mama Thornton, Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf) are pictured below.
To enjoy the blues, you need to understand its culture. That's the learnin' I'm gonna teach ya now.
Most blues songs start out, "Woke up this mornin'..." The blues are not about choice. You stuck in a ditch; you stuck in a ditch. Ain't no way out.
Certain cars belong to the blues. Chevys and Cadillacs and broken-down trucks are okay. The blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs or SUVs. Blues can head south on a train but they never fly a plane. Walkin' is a major part of blues lifestyle. So is fixin' to die.
Teenagers can't sing the blues. They ain't fixin' to die yet. Adults sing the blues. "Adult" means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.
Blues can happen in New York City, but not in Hawaii or any place in Canada. Hard times in Tucson are just depression. Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City are the best places to have the blues. You can't have the blues in a place that doesn't get rain.
A man goin' bald ain't got the blues. A woman goin' bald does. Breaking your leg cuz you wuz skiing in Aspen is not the blues. Breaking your leg cuz a gator be chompin' on it is.
Good places for the blues: (a) highway; (b) jailhouse; (c) empty bed; (d) bottom of a whiskey glass.
Bad places for the blues: (a) art gallery; (b) Ivy League college; (c) golf course.
No one will believe it's the blues if you're wearing a suit, unless you slept in it for a few days.
Test: Do you have the right to sing the blues?
Yes, if: (a) you're older than dirt; (b) you're blind; (c) you shot a man in Memphis; (d) you can't be satisfied.
No, if: (a) you have all your teeth; (b) you were once blind but now can see; (c) the man in Memphis survived; (d) you have a trust fund.
Blues is not a matter of color; it's a matter of bad luck. Lebron James cannot sing the blues. Gary Coleman could. Ugly white people also got a leg up on the blues.
If you ask your baby for water and she gives you gasoline, you got the blues.
Acceptable blues beverages: (a) whiskey; (b) bourbon; (c) muddy water; (d) black coffee.
Not acceptable blues beverages: (a) soy caramel latte; (b) Snapple; (c) white wine spritzer.
Dying in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack is a blues way to go. Gettin' stabbed by a jealous lover is another. So is being fried by Old Sparky. You can't have a blues death if you die during a tennis match at the club or from complications of liposuction.
Some blues names for women: Sadie; Big Mama; Bessie; Fat River Dumpling.
Some blues names for men: Willie; Little Willie; Big Willie; Joe.
If you have a name like Sierra, Rainbow, Blue Ivy or Prince Michael, you can't sing the blues no matter how many men you shot in Memphis.
Here's how to make your own blues name. Pick an infirmity (Blind, Lame, Little), add a first name from a type of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi) and finish with the name of a President (Jackson, Jefferson). For example, you can sing the blues using the name Blind Lemon Jefferson. Or Little Willie Jackson.
Do you sing the blues?