The blues was like that problem child that you may have had in the family. You was a little bit ashamed to let anybody see him, but you loved him. You just didn’t know how other people would take it.—B. B. King
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]I listen to a lot of music while I’m sitting here editing pictures. Walk in on me during one of these sessions and you’re likely to hear anything from The Gaither Vocal Band to Florence + The Machine. The playlist that I hit most often, though, is four and a half hours worth of the Blues. Everything from remastered Robert Johnson and B. B. King to Bonny Raitt and Aretha Franklin is on that list. The Blues get me through those sessions when I’m just not feeling it; when I’ve lost the emotional connection I might have had with a picture. One thing photographs have to do is make people feel, and if I’m not feeling anything chances are pretty high no one else will, either. The Blues gets me over that hurdle because the Blues are little more than pure emotion given some rhythm.
Contrary to popular belief, having the Blues doesn’t mean one is depressed. Depression is a serious mental illness. The Blues are just the realities of living and the challenge of living them. A Blues singer wails about what’s bothering them, whether it’s a lover that’s done them wrong, a boss that demands too much, a car that won’t run, or a leaky roof. Sing it out. Sing through what you feel. Put it out there, let it be what it is, and then move on with your life. A good Blues song doesn’t try to solve life’s problems, but unites us all in the fact that we all have the same issues, that we all survive, and we all keep right on going, because that’s what people do.[/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]Musically, the Blues aren’t especially difficult to play. Take a smooth walking bass line and drop three, maybe four, chords over it, and then take that wherever you’d like to go. The Blues don’t require one to have a lot of musical skill or training, but simply that one has the ability to feel. Sure, there are some people who do it better than others, but it’s the emotion, not the music skill, that they bring to the song that makes the difference. The deeper one can feel and communicate that feeling, the better the song.
So, all this week, we’re going to have the blues. The pictures are all processed with a blue tone, using a variety of different processes. No two are processed alike. Then, we’re going to pair those pictures with some of my favorite blues songs, which I’ll include with each picture. The pictures don’t have any direct connection to the songs chosen, but our hope is that between the photograph and the music your day will be a little bit better.
What’s important in life is that we are not afraid to feel, and that we find positive and appropriate ways to communicate that feeling. We don’t need anyone else getting upset and picking up a gun, or taking out their frustration physically on another person. Sing it out. Even if you can’t carry a tune, you can still sing the Blues. We don’t mind. Go for it. Feel better. Enjoy the Blues.[/one_half_last]
Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues, a song by Buddy Guy on Spotify