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HOW TO SING THE BLUES
BLUES SUBJECT MATTER
Blues are about basic stuff like "woke up this morning" or "I got a good woman. "But the blues needs trouble, so if you got a good woman, better stick something nasty in next.

      "I got a good woman with the meanest dog in town" . . . See?

Now, keep repeating that line until you think of something that rhymes. Sort of

      I got a good woman with the meanest dog in town.
      Yes, I got a good woman, with the meanest dog in town.
      He got teeth like Ma Rainey and he weighs 'bout 500 pounds.
BLUES STEREOTYPES
The blues are not about limitless choice. In fact, the blues are ass-deep in stereotypes.

Transportation: Blues cars are Chevies and Cadillacs. (No BMWs, ever.) Other acceptable blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or southbound train. Walkin' shoes play a major part in the blues lifestyle.

Age is also rigidly controlled. Only adults can sing the blues. Blues adulthood means old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

The acceptable blues colors are black and blue. Colors that don't belong in the blues are: violet, beige and mauve.

Blues attire: No one will believe it's the blues if you wear a suit . . . unless you happen to be an old black man.
BLUES LOCATIONS
You can have the blues in New York City, but not in the Hamptons. Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City still get good blues mileage. But hard times in Vermont and North Dakota are just a little depression. In the blues, it's always New Orleans that everybody goes "all the way to." But the French Quarter is a blues no-no. The only hard times there are when the ATM is down. Though it goes against tradition, you can have a nasty case of the blues on the west coast. Definitely in Oakland. Probably in Venice. Never in Malibu or Newport Beach.

You can't have the blues in an office or a shopping mall. The lighting is wrong. Good places for the blues: the highway, the jailhouse, the empty bed.
BLUES RIGHTS
Do you have the right to sing the blues? Yes, if:

      You're blind.
      You shot a man in Memphis.
      You can't be satisfied

But the answer is No, if:

      You have a trust fund.
      You were once blind, but now can see.
      You're deaf.
BLUES FOOD AND DRINK
It's been well established that if you ask for water and your baby gives you gasoline, it's the blues. Other blues beverages are:

      Cheap wine
      Any kind of whiskey
      Muddy water

Blues beverages are NOT:

      Vodka collins
      Kosher wine
      Snapple

Although Rubber Biscuits and the Wish Sandwich are famous blues snacks, better stick to common blues grub.

      Greasy Bar-b-que
      Fatback and beans
      Government cheese

Blues food is NEVER:

      Club sandwich
      Sushi
      Crème brule
BLUES LIFE AND DEATH
If it occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is a blues way to die. So is the electric chair, substance abuse, or being denied treatment in an emergency room. It is not a blues death if you die during a liposuction treatment. Short of actual death, "fixin' to die" is well regarded in the blues.
BLUES NAMES
Some blues names for women:

      Sadie
      Big Mama
      Bessie

Some blues names for men:

      Joe, Big Joe, Little Joe
      Willie, Little Willie
      Lightnin'

Persons with names likeTakisha, Alexis, or Gwenyth will not be permitted to sing the blues no matter now many men they shoot in Memphis.

Other blues names (starter kit):
Mix and Match from the following.

      Nick name: physical infirmity (blind, cripple, asthmatic)
      First name: add a fruit (Lemon, Lime, Strawberry . . . Kiwi?)
      Last name: a president (Jefferson, Johnson, Lincoln, Rosevelt).
LAST TIP
If none of the above works, try one last, pathetic stab at authenticity: name your guitar. Remember, Lucille is taken.
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©2017 Ellen Griffith - RECALL MUSIC