Blues & Dues

Everyone has a blues story to tell, but can everyone sing the blues?  It’s funny, because I’ve been a songwriter for a long time and I’ve written a lot of different genres of songs, but I’ve never written a blues song. Sure, I’ve had basic experiences in life like anyone else. I guess I’m saying everyone has the story to tell, but maybe not the means to tell it. The funny part is that whenever I’m asked to sing on the spot I always sing a Buddy Guy song called “My Baby She Left Me (she Left Me a Mule to Ride)”.Here is Big Joe Williams singing his version of the songhttp://youtu.be/R4Xp2PEr8F0

Even though people may have never heard it before they always go crazy for this song.

Here’s a little story of my experience in singing the blues. I went to see a couple of great musicians that I used to record with in a group called The Headhunters. I hadn’t seen them in years and they were coming from back east to perform on the west coast as a part of their tour.  I went over to the show with a very dear friend of mine, matter of fact my friend is the one who taught me how to truly play the drums. We also had one of the best bands on the west coast at one time. So while we were there, at the club in San Francisco, the band was playing and they were really smoking. The crowd was having a good time and so were my good friend and I. After a couple of drinks we were talking about sitting in with the band. The next song they played was a slow blues song and for some reason I felt this unresisting desire to go on stage and ask if I could sit in.  I’m not a blues singer, but this desire took me there.  So I grabbed the microphone and started to sing, not really knowing what it was I was going to sing. But like all the other times in my life when I preformed, the positive energy took over and guided my actions. Even though I don’t know any blues songs, I still knew the basic melody of blues and since blues is all about the feeling it went over great.

Within that moment an eight bar Buddy Guy lyric came to mind, which went like this:

WELL MY BABY CAUGHT A TRAIN AND LEFT ME A MULE TO RIDE. 

WELL MY BABY CAUGHT A TRAIN AND LEFT ME A MULE TO RIDE. 

SOON AS THE TRAIN LEFT THE STATION, MY MULE LAID DOWN AND DIED.

BUT I’M COMING HOME PRETTY BABY; I’M COMING HOME ANYWAY.  I’M

COMING HOME PRETTY MAMA, COMING HOME TO STAY.

The funny thing about this experience was, for one moment before the positive energy kicked in I felt a sense of being unsure, but like the point I’m making, it’s all about the feeling and the experiences. The blues is played basically in two tempos, slow and faster like a shuffle and the feeling you put into the words and music makes the difference.  The blues, everyone has them and anyone can feel them.

Keep it up, no matter how low it goes,

Deryo

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