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December 28, 2010 / John Sieger

Down Where The Blues Was Born

Click Here: Down Where The Blues Was Born

 

There are a lot of conversations about authenticity to be had in music today. You can start with questions like, “Is an auto-tuned vocal real?” You could continue with questions about white rappers, though nobody seems to be too worked up about that. How about all the teeny-bop-pop and Lady Gaga. Is anything real today? I’m not sure what my fascination with the subject is, but it’s an ongoing discussion in my head. Bonzo Dog Band may have said it best long ago when they asked the musical question, “Can A Blue Man Sing The Whites?” Today’s song, written 10-26-1999 and demoed yesterday, must have come during one of my frequent fits of pique over one more egregious example of people dipping into a culture and coming up undeserving winners. These three authentic portraits above the text depict some  pretty spectacular American originals — Mississippi Fred McDowell, Lee Dorsey and the notorious wife-beater, Ike Turner. They all contributed immensely to a music that you could argue has been commercialized and somewhat trivialized in recent years. I’m not above it — it’s very hard not to get swept up into something as exciting as blues or R&B. What are you supposed to do, start an oompah band? It’s something every artist must confront and a lack of any posture in relation to the blues, whether it is a successful one or not, reveals something trivial in your pursuit. Anyway, this song is as plain as day and recorded in much less time than that. To keep the conversation interesting with myself, I made it as authentic as I could using software instruments played on an M-audio keyboard — everything you hear, including drums, is a three-dollar-bill, musically speaking. And where does it leave this song? It must stand on it’s two minutes and fifteen seconds of likability or lack of. I’m fond of it and hate to have it collapse under any kind of larger cultural discussion — that would be a harsh fate for a modest little ditty.

 

© John Sieger

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4 Comments

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  1. Annie Dubats / Dec 28 2010 12:12 pm

    blues ain’t gonna git you, when you’re rolling in the morning corn…

    • John Sieger / Dec 28 2010 5:58 pm

      Which I was!

  2. mefeld / Jan 3 2011 9:38 pm

    Really like this song, John. It’s sweet. And what about Muddy Waters who was painting the ceiling when the stones came in to record in Chicago. And what about you cleaning ovens whilst they was still hot.

    • John Sieger / Jan 3 2011 11:07 pm

      My resume is impressive.

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