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In this week’s episode of the ArtistWorks Music Series podcast, ArtistWorks CEO Patricia Butler sits down with blues guitar master and ArtistWorks instructor Keith Wyatt to dive into the complex history of the blues. They discuss how the genre has grown and evolved into multiple classic and modern styles since its inception, and explore some of the innovative artists (both in and outside of the genre) that were influenced by the blues. The show is available wherever you listen to podcasts, or you can listen here at ArtistWorks.

 

In this episode, Keith begins by describing the history of the blues, and how it evolved early on from African American spirituals and work songs.

 

“Blues kind of evolved post-civil war, post-emancipation,” Keith explains. “Freed slaves were then able to own instruments, like guitars, pianos, horns, and that led to the birth of African American musical traditions. This progressed further in the church, where English hymns were combined with elements of African music to become spirituals. And, blues sort of developed out of, and in parallel with, that.”

 

Keith then goes on to outline some of the early flavors of the blues, highlighting some of the distinguishing characteristics of each of the style’s sub-genres throughout the podcast. It’s interesting listening.

 

“Blues as we think of it today was born in Juke Joints. From there, classic blues rose in popularity. These [performers] were mostly female singers, really classy women with big voices that wore furs and jewels,” Keith explains. “That’s when the music started to become less segregated and more commercialized.”

 

Keith rounds out the episode by discussing the critical ways in which blues influenced other American musical genres, such as rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, and country.

 

“In the beginning, they were all coming from the same place,” Keith explains. “Country has sort of a twang, certain mannerisms, but country and blues are more alike than they are different when you strip them down… Rock ‘n’ roll emerged out of this sort of synthesis of jump blues and hillbilly music. You had this sort of fusion of the African American musical style with the white musical style, and all the permutations in between.”

 

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE

 

NOTE: Join Keith Wyatt, Nathan East, Scott Henderson, Josh Smith and Mike Clark on April 14th at 4:30 PM PST for a live stream event where they’ll be discussing the different styles of blues music in more detail and, of course, playing a lot as well! Join us on Facebook.com/artistworks

 

On the ArtistWorks Music Series, CEO Patricia Butler speaks with master musicians across all genres who teach at ArtistWorks. Join them as they dive deep into topics like becoming a musician, playing at all skill levels, and the journey of learning music.

 

Looking to dive into more music podcasts? You’ve come to the right place. Investigate previous episodes where plenty of topics are  explored with fantastic, hand-selected and knowledgeable guests.

 

Tune in for new episodes released every other Wednesday on all platforms, and don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show!

 

Read more: 

Virtual Jazz Roundtable: New Guests Announced!

This is ArtistWorks: Behind the Scenes with Our Artists

5 DIY Soundproofing Tips for Your Practice Space
 
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