If These Walls Could Talk: A Blues Walk

Brownie McGhee:
The
Blues
is Life.

John Lee Hooker:
The Blues
tells a story
Every line…has a meaning.

Alberta Hunter:
Blues means
what milk does
to a baby.

James Weldon Johnson:
It
is
from blues
that all that’s
called American
music derives its coolest traits.

Willie Dixon:
Without
the roots, you have
no fruits…so better keep
the roots alive, better keep’em
alive.

George Jellinek:
The history
of a people is found
in its songs.

Michael J. Fairchild:
&
Blues
being
the lost chord
became the song
of the 20th century.

Jelly Roll Morton: (in an arrogant tone)
In 1908 Handy didn’t know anything about the blues
and he doesn’t know anything about jazz
and stomps to this day. I myself
figured out the peculiar
form of mathematics
and harmonies
that was
strange
to all the world
but me.

Willie Dixon: (in a contradictory tone of sarcasm)
I
am
the blues.
The world knows.

Jimi Hendrix:
Bcuz
in it, they can
see their own reflection.

Charlie Parker:
They
teach
you there’s
boundaries
to music. But, ain’t none to art.

John Lee Hooker: (in a philosophical sort of way)
No
matter
what you got
the blues is there.

Grant Green: (with a smile on his face)
It all
comes in handy
…Anyway…the blues!

Albert Murray: (in a solemnly supportive tone)
To refer to the
blues is to refer to an
established mode, a
a current code of context
or frame of reference.

Robert Johnson: (with a look of despair)
Some
folks
tell me
the worried
blues ain’t bad.

Worst
old
feelin’
I ever

had.

John Lee Hooker: (with a look of honesty)
Like you and your woman
ain’t gettin’ along
& you’re in love.
You can’t sleep at nights
your mind is on her
on whatever
that’s the
blues.

21st Century Griot: (expanding upon Ralph Ellison)
Blues are the memoirs
of the soul for the sake of
survival; the journal
of the journey through stress and strife
to what we consider a good life.

Albert Murray: (grinning)
Well,
that’s
because
of concerns
with the life of human
feeling…beyond everything else.

Sterling Brown:
The Blues
deservedly
came into their own, and,
unfortunately for the lover
of folk art, into something more than
their own.

21st Century Griot:
blues
is
the tree
rooted in
our identity.

Archie Shepp:
So,
rap…
it’s blues
too. It speaks
organically, as
the leaves sprout aloud to the beat.

Van Morrison: (with a smile of summation)
Hear-
in’
the blues
changed my life.

21st Century Griot:
If
these
walls could
walk & talk
it’d be like a
Howlin’ Wolf bringin’ the house down.