Saturday, December 26, 2009

Read.Eat.Listen: Blues

"Blues a healer, all over the world Blues a healer, healer, all over the world, all over the world It healed me, it can heal you"John Lee Hooker, The Healer

I ended up singing the blues on Christmas. Happily. A former neighbor had assembled some friends and musicians for a post-family gathering and a piano and a guitar added up to a exceedingly fun improv session. I went home remembering The Healer tape that a college roommate gave me as a birthday present many years ago. This was before I really knew how vast and deep and, yes, healing the blues could be. Blue, the color, blues, the music, are primary in every way. Music and spirit, how could you go wrong? Some blues basics:
Read: History of the Blues: The Roots, the Music, the People: From Charley Patton to Robert Cray, by Francis Davis
Eat: Noshing on Hush puppies, the cornmeal fritters that are a staple of the South, at age 10, somewhere along the road to New Orleans, was pivotal. I'd never had anything like it growing up in the West. Even now, hush puppies are a novelty in California. Fried like crazy, they're not normally something I'd eat, but ...yum....Epicurious has a nice recipe.
Listen: Skip James Hard Time Killing Floor Blues