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Kassie Jones - a masterpiece. Most surreal version of the Casey Jones theme. Keeps digressing into talk of other things. Freudian dream imagery - John Fahey, on Furry Lewis

Author Topic: The Curse of the Blues Brothers  (Read 3234 times)

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Offline Pan

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The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« on: January 23, 2011, 04:31:06 PM »
Yeah it happened again. As I was just starting my first set, a young man from the audience asked couldn't I play something they (the audience) all knew, like a song from the Blues Brothers movie. I mumbled something about me preferring to do the old stuff, and threw them a "Midnight Special", which they didn't seem to recognize.

Surely I must not be the only one getting this? I mean what do you guys do or say when this happens? Of course it would be very easy to make a nasty remark about the ignorance of the member of the audience in question, but a) can they really be expected to know any better? and b) this wouldn't be a very clever business move, I guess.

It's not like I'm not trying to give the dog a bone. I play the abovementioned CCR tune which some obscure fellah named Leadbelly covered too, I do the Nirvana tune, In The Pines;  the original Rolling Stones composition That's No Way To Get Along; the Eric Clapton thing, Nobody Knows You etc. and so fort. You get the drift.

But there are always people in the audience who want you to sort of confirm their idea of blues being what the movie in question presented them with. Just how do you deal with this?

I think the movie actually was quite funny and good entertainment, and hopefully boosted some original artists careers. But at times it just really gets to my nerves. Oh yes, call me uptight, but I totally hate the official "blues uniform" with sunglasses, dark suits and fedoras too. It's like a Blues Disneyland or some such, and it makes me cringe that people who actually want their music to be taken seriously, dress the part!

Rant over, but please help me out here, fellows!  :(

Pan
« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 04:34:06 PM by Pan »

Offline frankie

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2011, 04:56:36 PM »
Ari plays a Blind Blake version of "Mandy".

Totally hilarious.

I think we're gonna work up Crosstown Traffic.

Offline frankie

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2011, 05:02:06 PM »
chin up, pan - what you do is great.  Just have fun with it...  don't take it too seriously.  (must remember to take my own advice, too!)

Offline Rockdale

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2011, 05:05:28 PM »
I was playing bass with a jazz trio a few years ago for an art museum opening ($75 tickets, formal dress, etc.) and during our second set, probably the drunkest guy in the place asks us to play "...Lynrd Skynrd or something." The drummer and I just laughed it off until the guy walked away but the pianist, then, started playing Free Bird as a jazz ballad so we jumped in and followed his lead. I don't think the drunk guy even recognized it.

Offline frankie

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2011, 05:09:40 PM »
playing Free Bird as a jazz ballad so we jumped in and followed his lead. I don't think the drunk guy even recognized it.

effing brilliant!  that's the spirit!

Offline Coyote Slim

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2011, 05:51:25 PM »
Eh, you get used to that kinda stuff as time goes by.  Like when people ask me to play "Sweet Home Alabama" (really?) or "an Eric Clapton song" or even "that song from 'Oh Brother Where Art thou' -- 'constant sorrow' or somethin'."   Or the people that say, "You look too-well dressed and happy to play the blues."  ???    Then when someone actually says, "Play some Fred McDowell" you end up pleasantly surprised. 
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Offline uncle bud

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2011, 09:09:32 PM »
Been so long I had to go and look up the Blues Brothers soundtrack to see what was on it. I say work up the Theme from Rawhide.

Offline blueshome

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2011, 01:12:14 AM »
Stick to your set list Pan. Just smile and say you'll take requests later if there is time. No one offended, and you don't have to play anything you don't want to. Don't spoil your set for the person that walked into the wrong gig, keep the faith, good music will win through!
« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 06:54:03 AM by blueshome »

Offline Stumblin

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2011, 03:26:51 AM »
Stick to your set list Pan. Just smile and say you'll take requests later if there is time. No one offended, and you don't have to play anything you don't want to. Don't spoil you set for the person that walked into the wrong gig, keep the faith, good music will win through!
Amen to that.
A gigantic drunk wandered into our regular pub session last week and started slurring out requests/demands for something by Oasis. I ignored him.
Usually, there's a mix of the aforementioned Curse of the Blues Brothers and belligerent insistence that Led Zep or someone along similar lines invented the Blues. I try to ignore that too, but it isn't always easy - especially if someone joins the session who believes it's true! No names...

Offline CF

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2011, 05:38:28 AM »
I've been getting a lot of 'Hey is that Alice's Restaurant?' when I'm playing rags.
Not so bad I guess, although I somehow have never really heard that song . . . or just can't seem to remember it  :-\
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2011, 05:48:05 AM »
I've had that one.  Though curiously from a fellow band member every time I noodled anything circle of fifthish at rehearsals.  I dont know the song either...

Ahhh my brief foray into being in a band... Happy days.

Offline Pan

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2011, 06:29:19 AM »
Thanks for the advice and sympathy, everyone! I guess I shouldn't take myself so seriously.  :P

I actually started to transcribe Sweet Home Chicago some time ago. Johnson has some neat little fills and slurs he manages to insert in between the shuffle comp. But the song is too high pitched for my voice, and transposing to another key / position sort of loses the point, at least for me.

Apart from the Blues Brothers I get a lot of request to play country & western, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and Neil Young songs too. After all I'm the dude who plays the acoustic guitar, right?  ;)

Cheers

Pan

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2011, 06:34:54 AM »
Is the answer to do one or two things from Clapton's unplugged, but based on the originals rather than Clapton's ones?  Of course there are audiences who ask for Clapton who probably only know Layla, but you cant please everyone...

I agree with Blueshome's sentiments, but it also occurs to me that its good to make the odd pragmatic concession sometimes.  If playing two more well known tunes gets another half dozen people coming to the next gig, buying the landlord's drinks, and thereby leading to more and better bookings...


Offline blueshome

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2011, 07:03:35 AM »
Slim,  The approach I advocate is to know your venue before writing the set list.
No use going into a rowdy bar with lots of slow, contemplative numbers.
I'm still convinced that good music, well-performed will win through. The promoter has booked you for a reason, otherwise he/she may as well have gone for a Clapton impersonator or Blues Brothers tribute.

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2011, 07:06:54 AM »
True enough.

As someone who's never played a proper solo gig its not exactly my area of expertise!  It just seemed to me to be not too obnoxious to consider a couple of more well known tunes, if you could do them without damaging your principles, even if theyre not your first choice.  Just to ease the wheels a bit. 

But knowing the venue and clientele a bit is clearly important as you say.

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