Review and photographs by Rudy Lu
The blues is a musical genre spawned by spirituals, work songs and field hollers from the South. But it’s also the forefather of so many more contemporary American roots music forms, from rock & roll to jazz to R&B.
And last Saturday night, the Saratoga acoustic blues duo Low ‘N Lonesome and their friends traced the history of the blues from the ’20s to the dawn of rock & roll in a sprawling, across-the-years concert at the Sand Lake Center for the Arts in Averill Park.
Developed by Low ‘N Lonesome’s Phil Drum, the premiere of “A History of the Blues” also featured Sonny Speed & the Resonators and Holly & Evan, while Ray Giguere guided the audience along on the journey with his narration.
From its Mississippi Delta origins – with songs by Charley Patton, Skip James, Son House and Robert Johnson – to the city blues of the ’20s (featuring great female vocalists like Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey and Memphis Minnie) to electrifying urban jump and Chicago blues (Louis Jordan, Muddy Waters), the grand span of the blues was presented with expert playing and singing by all of the musicians involved.
A history lesson never sounded so good…
“A HISTORY OF THE BLUES” SET LIST
Yellow Dog Blues
One Dime Blues
That’ll Never Happen No More
South Carolina Rag
Hard Time Killing Floor Blues
John the Revelator
Me and the Devil Blues
Stack O’Lee Blues
St. Louis Blues
Me and My Chauffeur Blues
How Long, How Long Blues
They Call It Stormy Monday
Rollin’ and Tumblin’
Hoochie Coochie Man