Mudcat Café message #2130059 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #104139   Message #2130059
Posted By: pdq
20-Aug-07 - 09:10 PM
Thread Name: Happy Blues
Subject: RE: Happy Blues
So far, John Hurt, Jesse Fuller and the duo of Sonny Terry and Brownie have been mentioned. These people all play a high percent 8-bar blues, sometimes one after another after another. The 8-bar format is just as valid a blues as the 12-bar version, although the latter is certainly the "classic" blues.

Many true blues are also 16-bar songs, a form more likely done by country performers and White musicians. Doc Watson, especially in the latter years of his son Merle, often played half or more of his show using various blues songs, including some written by Jimmie Rodgers. Many 16-bar blues sound like normal folk or pop songs.

If you really want to get a lesson in music, count-out the measures of some of Lonnie Johnson's work from his acoustic "one man, one guitar" era. He uses 8, 12, 16, 24, even 32-bar blues units strung together like building blocks to give a through-composed quality to something that may sound, to an un-trained ear, to be nothing but a primative blues. Lonnie was a genius, so "don't try this at home" if you stlll have Mel Bay vol.1 in front of you.