Paulelmo's Blog

No chumps be playin’ the Blues

In my post about Kaleo, I stated something about how few people play the blues poorly. Not only do I think that’s true about the blues, but also about jazz, bluegrass, and I guess any kind of music that isn’t mainstream.

If there are hacks in the worlds of rock, pop, and country–there’s a rumor that there are–it’s probably at least partly because people are doing it for the wrong reasons, like money or fame.

That’s a lot less common in less popular forms of music. Ain’t no little boy sitting down with a sitar thinking “Man, one of these days I’m gonna be bigger than prom night!” Ain’t no little girl with a cello saying anything like, “Now, don’t you worry, Momma, this here cello is gonna make all your dreams come true.”

People making music closer to the fringe are typically making music to be making music, out of love for the music. It shows in the music, too. I can’t imagine how many live music performances I’ve seen in my life, but I do know I’ve seen enough to realize that when I go to see someone playing the Blues or jazz, I can expect to hear someone with chops. Most of the bluegrass musicians I’ve seen perform can’t even spell “chump.”

This brings us to thoughts of another reason why we might go to see live music played. Sure, it’s great to hear good music, but it’s also great to see and hear people doing something they do well. It’s a good reminder of the good things that can happen with passion, dedication, and hard work.

So, even if you’re not the biggest fan of the Blues (or whatever type of music that isn’t as popular as some others), go check some out if you get the chance. I can’t outright promise you an evening without chumps, without hacks, but I’d say there’s a good chance that’s what you’ll get. I also imagine that if you put some of your thoughts to the work they’ve put into developing their craft, you could yourself uplifted and inspired.

Now you roar, my lovelies!

Be well.

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