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Generic Blues Band Rant

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by RoadRanger, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    What's with bands saying they play blues when they can't even get simple well known songs like "Folsom Prison" or "House of the Rising Sun" right? Am I the only one that knows that those are 11 bar blues tunes, not 12 or 8 like they are commonly played? No wonder most folks think all Blues sounds the same with crap bands playing them the same :meh: .
  2. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Like metal, if one desires, there is a plethora of sub genres that could be used to "define" a blues band which grants them an out from certain songs/styles.

    You wouldn't expect a piedmont band to play post delta-pre Chicago would you?

    It would be like Metallica playing post grindcore pre sludge mishmash alloy metal.
  3. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    We have several so called "blues" bands in my region. Nothing against their talent as players but most of them are playing just to satisfy themselves. Even their original songs all sound exactly the same as every other slow blues song ever written and is boring; especially the bass and drum parts. The lead guitarist in one band never knows when to stop a solo either and the songs drag on and on and all he is doing is random noodling to please himself.
  4. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    "Blues" is often an excuse to be lazy, and play everything in the same exact style.
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I'd like to do a blues band, but play a mix of Robert Cray (Across the Line, Smoking Gun, etc.), Buddy Guy (Mary Ann, etc.), Etta James (Blues is My Business), Susan Tedeschi (Midnight in Harlem, Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean) some Clapton, SRV and keep the standard 12-bar blues to a minimum.
  6. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    I'm interested. Having played "House of the Rising Sun" a few too many times in my life. I just listened Eric Burton and Dave Van Ronk and Bob Dylan all of them played in, to my ears, two pulses a measure for 16 bars. How do you get 11 bars? Can you post some links?
  7. Joedog


    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL
    Just like all the other genres, you can find a bunch of "meh" bands. There's a bunch of country, rock, jazz, etc., and yes, blues bands here I wouldn't go out of my way to see again. A couple of REALLY good blues bands though.
  8. Beltdrive


    Jul 16, 2008
    Blues is about freedom of expression, it's ok if they don't play it the same way.
  9. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    If you're counting it in 6/8 (subdivided into two beats per measure, as you hear it), the full progression is 22 bars:

    ||: Am | C | D | F |
    Am | C | Em | Em |
    Am | C | D | F |
    Am | E | Am | C | D | F |
    Am | E | Am | E :||

    If you're counting in 12/8 (four beats per measure), it would be 11 bars:

    ||: Am C | D F | Am C | Em |
    Am C | D F | Am E | Am C |
    D F | Am E | Am E :||
  10. Koog

    Koog Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    Central Iowa USA
    Was in an outstanding blues, Memphis style R&B and roots band with a bit of funk thrown in. Yeah we did some 12 bar, but is was really a variety, much like Munji describes, although not featuring the artists he mentions. It was the most fun I ever had as a bassist and I grew the most during that phase of my musical experience. Miss it greatly. Unfortunately, many folks think there is no skill or variety in playing the blues....but if it is done well and correctly, there are many nuances and detail that go to this art form that is fundamental to most of the music that most of us play.

    Whenever we were having a difficult time in getting the little things right in rehearsals, a favorite comment, laced with a bit of sarcastic humor, was, "Don't sweat it, 'cause what the hell, it's only the blues". Then we would get back to work and get it right.

  11. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT

    4 bar intro, 11 bar progression thereafter:

    |Am C|D F|Am E|Am E|

    |Am C|D F|A C|E E|
    |Am C|D F|Am E|
    |Am C|D F|Am E|Am E|

    played by wannabee blues guys as:

    |Am C|D F|A C|E E|
    |Am C|D F|Am E|Am E|
  12. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    There is also the Dusty Hill story about playing with Lightnin one night.

    After the set he (Hill) was at the bar when someone asked what it was like to play with Hopkins and he replied that it was cool but he (lightning) didn't change when he was supposed to so it was kind of confusing.

    unbeknownst to Hill, Lightnin was standing behind him and overheard the conversation. When Dusty said what he did about his irregular changes, Hopkins tapped him on the shoulder and when Dusty turned around, Hopkins told him "lightning change when lightning wanna change."
    sgraham and Flad like this.
  13. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    Folsom Prison ?
    House Of The Rising Sun ?
    ... blues ?? :confused:

    maybe by request , but neither of those songs are in my bands set lists .
  14. Joedog


    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL
  15. ......and then punched him in the mouth.
  16. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    Check out this version.

    Tom Clarence Ashley & Gwen Foster - House Of The Rising Sun (1933)

  17. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Hmm... was just playin' along with the Animal's version and noticed I was arfing up the ending. The last time around the progression the last "E" becomes a "D" and then the end goes like:
    |Am D|Am D|Am D|
    |AGF# EDE DEF# GF#G|Am -

    Probably arfed it up because I only recently changed to playing in DGCF so couldn't do that low "D" before :( .
  18. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    10 bars, awesome :D !
  19. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Dunno if yous guys were questioning wheither "Folsom Prison Blues" is blues (really?) but as it says in the comments to that old recording of "House" linked above it was originally a 1600's English folk tune. Here is was "adopted" by a lot of blues players so most folks I know think of it as blues.
  20. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    There are many versions of blues standards, take Stormy Monday, there is the T-Bone Walker version and the Bobby Blue Bland version among others, same song, different chord progressions. No one way is the right way.;)
    Flad likes this.