The Blues

Have you ever listened to the blues? I’m talking about artists like B.B. King, Albert Collins, John Lee Hooker, and hundreds of others. At first listen, you might think the blues all sounds the same. I know I’ve been guilty of thinking that way. But blues music may actually be one of the most creative musical genres out there.

Blues and jazz grew up side by side. Blues is the slightly older sister. Jazz is a highly creative form of music, but blues is just as creative, maybe more. The difference is simple. Blues stays within a more specific scale-based structure. Which artist would need to be more creative, the artist with 100 colors on their palette or the artist with only a pencil? Creativity is not always about the final product, but more about the thought, emotion, and process that goes into its creation.

As one who loves music, I’ve listened and played most every popular genre out there. I’ve written hundreds of songs in various styles, including country, rock & roll, pop, folk, Americana, blues, and electronica. I’ve even experimented with minimalist music. And that’s the secret behind the blues. It’s minimalist at its heart. Yet it’s those boundaries that force great blues artists to be more creative.

I may currently be composing and producing experimental electronic music, but I’ve played my share of blues. If there was a single genre of music that I’d consider committing to fully, it would be the blues. You never know, when I retire from teaching, I might just decide to play the blues. – dse

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Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.