Hootenanny Ribs

Hootenanny Ribs
Perfection on my Traeger Pro 34 wood pellet grill

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How I found the blues (or did the Blues find me?)

Many people have asked me when and how I discovered the Blues.  It was a roundabout journey that began when I was young and discovered that music was something interesting and something to enjoy.  Growing up the the Seventies, I was  inundated with AOR (album-oriented rock) on FM radio.  The music of Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Foghat, Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers, AC/DC,  Jimi Hendrix, Cream and many others filled my ears with wonderful and powerful big music.  Little did I know that much of that music was Blues-based; I just knew that I liked it.  Only straying for a brief period of time to Punk and some New Wave, my music always seemed to be that genre now called Classic Rock.
Then in 1984, I enrolled at the University of Tennessee; record stores all over the place. (Yes, those 12 inch vinyl discs that are now being rediscovered by my kids.)  Used records, new records, lots of clubs with live music, a subscription to Rolling Stone: I was living the college music scene, taking it all in.  Then I read a brief article in Rolling Stone about an up and coming guitar slinger from Texas: Stevie Ray Vaughan.  Cool.  Had to check this guy out.  I love good guitar players.  The louder the better at that time. A jaunt down to Cat's Records on Cumberland Avenue (The Strip to all familiar with the University of Tennessee.)  Ask if they have any of this new guy, Stevie Vaughan or whatever his name is.  Yes, they have his new album "Texas Flood" - bought it, took it back to the apartment to give it a listen.

Bam! Wow! Holy ____!

The first sound of  Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Love Struck Baby" blasted off from the needle of my turntable through my rather large speakers to send a sound shock wave through my body.  Stunned.  Mouth agape.  An epiphany.  This was it!  This, THIS beautiful powerful passionate surging music that filled my ears, head, body and Soul with bliss and fulfillment - THIS was IT!  I listened to the next song.  Still loving it.  The next?  Yep.  The entire album, played over and over again, for several hours I'm certain.  I had found my music and for my young mind it was like sex - I had to have more. 

Another trip the next day to Cat's Record store.
"Do y'all have anything else like this?"
Store clerk, "Yes, have you heard of Albert Collins?"

Purchased Albert Collins' monumental Alligator Records release "Ice Pickin'" and was introduced to the world of Blues, a world that was waiting for me to discover, a journey that I am still taking today, discovering new artists and old alike, taking it all in, into my bloodstream and straight to my Soul.

That is how I found the Blues, or the Blues found me.



2 comments:

  1. I've had the good fortune of knowing Blue Lou since the 70's and have never known anyone that has more of a passion for the blues, bar-b-que & a finely crafted beer. Recently, I had the good fortune of participating in an annual event recognizing these genres. Folks from around the country were treated to his hospitality & incredible array of bar-b-que (along with some mighty fine selections of craft brews).
    I, as well, was influenced early on to the incredible music of the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughn. My first live experience was at The Majestic Theater in San Antonio, with numerous follow-up events in open-air venues in Austin. Unbelievably impressive.
    Only recently have I cultivated my appreciation for craft brews & all of the work that goes into these outstanding creations. Thanks to Blue Lou, I was able to participate in the local & recent grand opening of The Marble City Brewing Co. It was a huge success with phenomenal brews on tap.
    It's been a pleasure to know Blue Lou both professionally and personally through the years & will be looking forward to the next beer tasting event, blues appreciation & of course, bar-b-que.

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