No, I did not start out as a ‘Blues’ fan, I was, and still am a rock & roll child. That was the music that spoke to me back when I was maybe 5 or 6 years old. Little Richard, Fats Domino, yeah even Bill Haley & The Comets … then the Beatles, Stones & Animals appeared and it exploded.
But these bands and music laid the stones for my passage into the Blues, though much later in life as the emergence of British Blues Bands took over featuring Jeff Beck, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin John Mayall and more tried to show me where it was really at, but it is well known that it’s not up to you it’s up to the Blues to make the call.
Somewhere around 1993, in Rochester NY, there was no music that spoke to me, and that’s a pretty sad thing. To paraphrase the late Lou Reed, “one fine morning I turned on a radio station, and couldn’t believe what I heard at all” it was the Blues pure, simple & sweet.
Fast forward to late 2010 when I had been listening to Sirius/XM radio and it’s Bluesville station and had attended a few festivals and shows it was then that I knew what I was going to do with the rest of my natcheral life.
Blues411 was realized September 7, 2010. Our first post had little acclaim or notice, it was about what I believed (and still do) was a wonderful example of how to explain the Blues through music. It was a report on Spencer Bohren‘s release of “Down The Dirt Road Blues”. In it he took a simple field holler and progressed it through to modern times – musically explaining the changes in form that the Blues went through on its journey. It spoke volumes to me, and I still recommend it to anyone who has ears.
Four days later, we are vacationing in SC (before it was home) and a dear lady whom I fell head over heels for called me to offer support for my new blog with a story that I had to write. The lady is Janiva Magness, the story is about Robin Rogers. Janiva left me no doubt that I could and would write this story and that she stood behind me 100%.
There was no turning back; it was after all these years of looking I had finally found where I belonged.
This month marks our 6th year of striving to make the Blues vital and, as often heard from me, ‘Thriving’. Some people say I/we have given much, but what we have gotten in return has been one thousand fold. The artists, ever so kind and humble and welcoming it IS all about you. The fans, you are all pretty special – true to the term Wendy Schumer and I coined at the Bluestock Festival ‘framily’ (yeah way before Verizon or whoever adulterated it). The blog has changed in any ways, yet its focus has remained on point – get the word out about the Blues to all the people not just preach to the choir.
I thank my wife Leslie, for allowing me to pursue my middle aged dream, and also for joining me in my, which is now our ‘publication’. Her camera work, ideas and personality are as much a part of Blues411 as mine is (if not more). She has blossomed as a photographer developing a certain style that sets her apart from others, and many can identify her photos based on lighting, angle of view and all that other stuff I know nothing about. Heck I use the cell phone for pictures, she takes photos.
Special thanks to all the artists who have shared a story, a joke, a drink or a slap of the hands – for you are the light of the world. Bless each and every one of you. Thanks to the clubs and festivals who have allowed us to be part of their events. Thanks to each and every one of you folks who are fans or friends or both who have given of yourselves to boost us up, to help us and gave the encouragement we needed to keep going.
We look forward to keep on doing what we do for as long as we can and hope you stay with us for the ride.
As our treat to y’all we have re-designed the web site, we hope ya enjoy the new look and keep coming back for more.
Love, Peace & Chicken Grease
Chef Jimi Patricola
Leslie K. Joseph
Where Blues Thrives
Photos: Leslie K. Joseph, Blues411