We were talking about left handed guitars (great thread by Rick Cogbill) and it reminded me of Albert King who played left handed and left his strings inverted. But it also reminds me of blues musicians in general.
Many of these guys were surly characters - drunken, infected with diseases that one can avoid or just plain bad attitudes. However, this angst produced a perfect musical genre to express lament. I call the blues the "genre of human lament".
Unfortunately, this often included a clueless outlook on life:
born under a bad sign, been down since I could crawl
If it wasn't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all
wine and women is all I crave..
Clearly the guy didn't get it. But if one can overlook this unfortunate outlook on life, one will find a delightful catalogue of musical phrasing and vocal technique. And it occurs to me that this musical style has great application for Christian themes. Most of our songs are about glory and praise, and that's good. But many Psalms were laments. In fact, we are also called to be mournful and sad for what goes on around us.
So, does anyone else have thoughts around this? Can we Christian musicians bring some blues into the mix?
That's real music to me. Whenever our pianist is out and we don't have prelude music, one of the sound techs usually puts in some Gaither or Maranatha CD. It's so very canned and plastic.
Triplet? I don't know, I just "do a little of this with these fingers" and "hold it like that just beforehand". Is that a triplet? I don't know, but my friends always clap and start dancing around the campfire when I do it.
We used to have a song called "heart of worship" that was a sort of repentance/confession kind of sober song. Several of the younger folks loved it, but it seemed weird to do it on que without any known immediate or recent issue to relate to. With a good lament, one can see that being useful. But I'm not sure it's something you would do corporately on a regular basis. The are more suited as a response to a personal event.
Thanks for the comment!
this guy played in my church years ago. pretty sweet
I'm sure we're not going to get a 12 bar blues as the norm in a worship setting regardless of the tempo. I think I'm hearing more of a bluesy 'feel' to more Christian music the past few years compared to the prior few years, but it's a slow process. I remember for awhile hoping to find something----anything---new in a minor key!
When it comes down to it though, we 'have the power' to change up most any song to how we wish to do it, even to the point of changing a few chords to make it want we want. I remember hearing--just once unfortunately--a version of "Something About That Name" that few Christian artists collaborated on. The only one I remember on it is Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad fame.
Ahhh ... my home boy Mark! Pretty crazy huh? God chooses each for His purpose.
We play "My Redeemer Lives" from Hillsong.
In a blues structure tune.
/E7 / A7 / Bsus /
We play straight
Now this is the basic framework but---
E7 = E13, E9, E11, E7sus4,
A7 = A13, A13 A 11, A7sus4 = all the b5 and #5 permutations. Example. A713b5
As well as using Ab passing chord permutations going into the A chord.
It is buckets O' fun. Lol