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Article for week of August 4th 1997

Current State of The Working Blues Musician

This past weekend I was at a local blues club. It is an upscale place. I was talking with a musician friend of mine while the band was kickin out some great blues. The drummer from his band who had recently quit was now playing with the band on stage. My friend's band has been around for several years. There have been different configurations of course. It seemed as though things were really going good for him. They were almost finished with a new CD and had alot of bookings. Then the bass player quits, the drummer quits because he likes the bass player, and of course without these two guys the guitar player quits. It all goes up in smoke! What was the investment? Well, there is the time spent putting the band together, writing songs, rehearsing, and more time and money to record the whole thing. "I have about had it with these musicians", my friend says. "Maybe I'll just get the recording thing goin and find a publisher somewhere", he says. Why does the local musician spend the time and money on a narrow chance of grabbing the gold ring? Just at the moment I was thinking about all this, the band calls us up to the stage to play. He sang and I played a wonderful old Gibson 335. He sang "Everyday I have the blues". I backed him up on vocals for the last chorus and then it was my turn. I sang Muddy Waters' "Rich mans woman". After the song was over and the band clicked into another song I knew why we spend the time and money. It is because there is nothing like getting up in a club with some people who appreciate the blues and playin! In that short moment I knew that all would be well with the local musicians because it is the love of the music that keeps them going. It keeps them going through all the people who quit the band, through all the equipment failures and personal dissapointments. You gotta love it!