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Author Topic: The Curse of the Blues Brothers  (Read 3232 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.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2011, 07:28:23 AM »
I used to get this shit all the time. Usually I'd answer politely that I didn't know any of those songs. Nobody asked for Blues Bros., but one belligerent drunk started heckling me to play something by Elton John, who btw I truly loathe, when I told him I didn't know any he wanted to fight me.

Having now encountered more and more stories about requests hurled at the first generation guys, I'm convinced that more often than not they would try to oblige. Gary Davis knew a ton of turn of the century popular songs for example. Big Bill worked pop songs up in his own inimitable style , Glory of Love for example, and they are generally speaking not less excellent than the rest of his oeuvre. He also reinvented himself as the situation demanded, singing "folk" songs and hymns like Swing low sweet Chariot ( admittedly not one of his stronger pieces) to satisfy the expectations of his new white "folk" audiences here and in Europe. So if it happened now my feeling is , if I know the song at all I'd give it a go and if I don't I'll make one up using the song title as a theme. Fuck it. If we take the "precious artiste" tack we lose people's interest forever, and if you're playing in a bar, what do you expect anyway? When you're playing in a concert setting or where people came specifically to hear country blues than you can tell them to fuck off.
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Offline GhostRider

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2011, 10:50:38 AM »
Pan:

When this happens to me (not often as I naturally avoid the slow, contemplative tunes), I do pull out a Blues Bros. number, "Sweet Home Chicago". My guitar accompaniment is pretty close to RJ, which is fun as he really works the rhythm. And everybody knows "Sweet Home Chicago". And the fun part is that you can write quite racy verses for this one. Always a crowd pleaser.

As I play here in Calgary, another I pull out at times like these is "Ghost Rider in the Sky"  ;D  The minor key sound of it is pretty bluesy, and everyone knows the chorus.

Another that fits is Crosscut Saw (the 1942 Tony Hollins acoustic version).

I like it when people shout out requests and such, it means they're listening and like in a general way what you're doing. Think, would you shout out requests to a group you didn't like.

Last tip, if this comes up, throw in a double entendre tune like Bo Carter's "All Around Man", Cigarette Blues etc. or RGD "Hesitation Blues". Wahoo.

Anyway, just some thoughts,
Alex

Offline Pan

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2011, 03:18:42 PM »
Thanks for chiming in everybody! This topic has given me some food for thoughts.

I didn't mean to sound like I don't want any interaction with my audiences, of course I do. But taking in requests usually ends up in more and more requests coming in, and you have to draw the line somewhere, unless you are planning to be some kind of a human juke box.

When asked if I do requests, I usually explain politely, that the stuff I play is pretty obscure, and that I'm not very good at filling in request, but yes, you can try anyway. Sometimes people actually request cb songs, which is always a delight. I of course can't always fullfill the request, but I might be able to throw another song from the same artist, or a version of the song by another artist.

With requests of songs by modern rock/blues artists, I try to do what Norfolk Slim suggested; to play a cb song done by them based on the original rather than the cover thing. Usually people seem to be happy with this, and sometimes they afterwards come to greet me and say that they didn't know that the song was a cover from an old original cb song.

But I also agree with Blueshome. Taking in request that go too far away from the setlist and the subject will make the whole show unbalanced and if I have to start strumming CCR tunes with a flatpick, I might as well leave the whole thing to someone else who actually enjoys doing this.

To be fair, my audiences often surprise me positively. I had a couple of young kids come over when they briefly visited a bar I was playing, and asking for a Blind Blake tune. I suspect they had checked on the internet, what my music was all about, before coming.

If I can't fullfill a request for a cb tune, I will, within reason see, if I can do it for a next time. This can push you to directions that are out of your comfort zone, and actually widen your repertoire. I recently found out that I don't have the vocal qualities to do Sleepy John Estes material, and learned my first Reverand Davis song, by requests of my audience.

Cheers

Pan


« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 04:56:05 PM by Pan »

Offline onewent

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2011, 04:48:27 PM »
I feel for you, Pan, but I believe you have an excellent attitude toward this annoyance.  I think the BB movie has created a monstrous stereotype, and your description as a 'blues Disneyland' fits.
The players I've seen in live shows have mostly reacted to far-out requests in an accommodating or passive fashion .. bend like the palm tree, so to speak.  I can imagine how someone like Paul Geremia would respond..I'd imagine it would contain a few choice words from O'Muck's post above   >:D
Hey, when all else fails, sing 'em a Finnish folk song!  Tom

Online Johnm

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2011, 05:46:36 PM »
Hi all,
One strategy I remember employing years ago when a Bluegrass band I was in received unwanted requests was that we would just play whatever tune we had intended to play, but announce it as the tune that had been requested.  Not that this ploy was utilized a lot, but I never remember once the requester coming back and saying, "Hey, that wasn't the song I asked for."  

Inappropriate requests have very little to do with the song being asked for, and everything to do with the requester wanting to make the working stiff musician dance to his (the requester's) tune, and putting the musician in a servant capacity.  Sorry if that sounds a bit sour, but I believe it is so.  I had requests made with a very definite "play this or else" message communicated on one occasion I can remember, and you bet, I played it.  Fortunately, it was a tune I played and liked, "Mack The Knife", but I didn't like myself better for playing the song in a set right after I had just played it.  In recent years when people request a song I don't know, I've just said, "You know, I've heard that song, but I've never learned it to play it.", which is both true and how I'd prefer to deal with it.

As far as the Blues Brothers go, Pan, I bet you could make up a ripping version of the Aretha Franklin feature from that movie, "Think" (think about what you're tryin' to do to me).  It has a great groove and you might find that it would give you a chance to get down on your own bad self.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 06:07:04 PM by Johnm »

Offline Rivers

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2011, 06:08:55 PM »
Apart from jumping off the stage and smashing them over the head with a steel body resonator...?

I have a zen taoist confucionist approach, the superior man does not allow himself to end up in that position. But then again I mostly quit playing out years ago, too many variables, too much like hard work and I don't need the dough or recognition, such as it was, which was variable, depending on how hung-over I, or the soundman, was, or a thousand other variables I never seemed to be able to get under control on a consistent basis. Very much like my golf game actually.

When I do play in a setting where there's an audience expecting to sit and see something I've been totally selective lately unless I've been railroaded into doing it, under which circumstances I hate the whole deal and get off stage as quickly as possible. Fortunately I have zero desire to be famous or even well regarded by the great unwashed hordes, I do it for fun and for people I like and respect. When it stops being fun, I'm gone like a submarine.

Yeah, do your own version, or give them a short but amusing spiel on the true origins of the song, you could work up an act where you pull out your Dixon & Godrich Blues & Gospel Records 1890 - 1943, 4th edition, and give them a little educational lecture...  ;) <- joking

[edited for strong language, I got a little carried away there]
« Last Edit: January 25, 2011, 05:05:05 PM by Rivers »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2011, 08:30:56 PM »
One strategy I remember employing years ago when a Bluegrass band I was in received unwanted requests was that we would just play whatever tune we had intended to play, but announce it as the tune that had been requested.

Brilliant. Gets my vote.

And if that fails -->

Move 'em on, head 'em up,
Head 'em up, move 'em out,
Move 'em on, head 'em out Rawhide!
Set 'em out, ride 'em in
Ride 'em in, let 'em out,
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in Rawhide.

Offline LB

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2011, 06:31:18 AM »
I find there's no way to eliminate it but you can make the best of it and do things to minimize. I mean playing in a corner bar with TVs around the walls and game machines dinging everywhere and a meat packing plant across the street and you get what you asked for. I also think the less professional you present your show, the less organized the songs, more pauses and lack of story telling and depth you lead them into this mode. On the point of dress, the comments on blues brothers gets carried too far. People think blues musicians that dress up are being silly. In reality this goes back to the roots of not only blues but our culture. It wasn't but a couple of decades ago a musician was required to wear the right apparel to a show. It was not a choice. And there are reasons why, really good ones. I do agree all these movies and pop culture has become a curse of sorts... Urban Cowboy, Sat Night Fever, Karaoke, American Idol, say goodbye to real music. Just buy a midi keyboard and sampler and your done.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2011, 06:36:11 AM by LittleBrother »

Offline Coyote Slim

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2011, 07:01:31 PM »


Inappropriate requests have very little to do with the song being asked for, and everything to do with the requester wanting to make the working stiff musician dance to his (the requester's) tune, and putting the musician in a servant capacity.  Sorry if that sounds a bit sour, but I believe it is so.  I had requests made with a very definite "play this or else" message communicated . . .


I agree John.  Luckily I'm usually more intimidating than the people that try this on me.
Puttin' on my Carrhartts, I gotta work out in the field.

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Offline Coyote Slim

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2011, 07:02:49 PM »
I used to get this shit all the time. Usually I'd answer politely that I didn't know any of those songs. Nobody asked for Blues Bros., but one belligerent drunk started heckling me to play something by Elton John, who btw I truly loathe, when I told him I didn't know any he wanted to fight me.

Having now encountered more and more stories about requests hurled at the first generation guys, I'm convinced that more often than not they would try to oblige. Gary Davis knew a ton of turn of the century popular songs for example. Big Bill worked pop songs up in his own inimitable style , Glory of Love for example, and they are generally speaking not less excellent than the rest of his oeuvre. He also reinvented himself as the situation demanded, singing "folk" songs and hymns like Swing low sweet Chariot ( admittedly not one of his stronger pieces) to satisfy the expectations of his new white "folk" audiences here and in Europe. So if it happened now my feeling is , if I know the song at all I'd give it a go and if I don't I'll make one up using the song title as a theme. Fuck it. If we take the "precious artiste" tack we lose people's interest forever, and if you're playing in a bar, what do you expect anyway? When you're playing in a concert setting or where people came specifically to hear country blues than you can tell them to fuck off.


Good post, senor!

I've had good luck with the "I'll make one up with that theme" approach.
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Offline Shovel

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2011, 08:38:10 AM »
i always try to give the people what they want.
except when i'm not in the mood to.   :P


Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2011, 09:11:10 AM »
Hey Pan
As you're in Berlin you say this to unwanted requests: Kennen tue ich die Nummer schon: K?nnen tue ich sie aber leider nicht!
Prof S

Offline uncle bud

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2011, 03:25:11 PM »
I think one needs to distinguish between responses in this thread that are humorous (or in my case, flippant) and the more serious advice. Just as one would have to distinguish between different venues and environments, and between a genuine request for a specific blues tune that reflects an interest in what's being played (and perhaps made during a break), and somebody shouting out a request like "play some Blues Brothers" without even naming a song, or requesting music outside the style being performed (play some Beatles!).

Offline Pan

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2011, 04:03:37 PM »
Oh well, look what I got started again!  :P

Perhaps Toby Walker and Mr O'Muck are right, and I should not be playing bar gigs at all. But I'm a little stubborn and idealistic here. In my experience most people will actually enjoy good country blues music when they hear it. On a good night people might dance, clap their hands and stomp their feet to the music. And often people come to thank me after the show. I would also like to take cb music where the people are. Nothing wrong with the concerts per se, but I would like that cb would not turn into some kind of concert music just for the chosen elite in the know, as has happened much to classical music. And to be honest, opportunities for me to play concerts are rare, and I actually happen to like playing the bars most of the time.

Unfortunately I too am less idealistic, when it comes to the motives of some requests. Sometimes a request can be just a thinly veiled form of harassment, and if you are being treated rudely, you have to stand up for yourself. No one else will.

So, should I start to create fingerstyle arrangements on the songs of Cream, Beatles, Neil Young etc.? Hell no! Life is too short, and I will soon die without never mastering most of the music that I actually wanted to play! And I do reserve the right to decide what my repertoire consists of, thank you!
I might be as  desperate for a gig as the next musician, but I do make every effort to be honest in how I promote myself. Nobody can claim that I have presented myself as an all around entertainer, or a cover rock artist, or anything but just myself. Of course people who book artists are human and make mistakes, we all do.

So, I will continue to do what I do, and if someone asks me to do a Clapton song, I will politely explain that I don?t know it, but I would be happy to do a song that he also happens to cover. It?s not like I haven?t made any effort to please the requester, and most people will happily set for this.

I would like to see some more comments in general, why the Blues Brothers seems to be the norm for what most people consider as being the blues, and what, if anything, we can do the change that?

Perhaps the question should be, why do people always want to hear the same old stuff, time and time again?

Maybe I'll ask that from the next guy who requests a Blues Brothers tune?  ;)

Cheers

Pan

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2011, 04:23:05 PM »
Did I mention that I dig the Blues Bros. (the movie). How can you not, I mean James, Brown, Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker,and Aretha Franklin in the same movie, plus the worlds largest gratuitous car smash up scene? G'wan wit chuz!

Quote
but I would like that cb would not turn into some kind of concert music just for the chosen elite in the know, as has happened much to classical music.

Pretty much a fait accompli a long time ago I'm afraid.
But keep doin' what your doing Pan after all you're performing in Berlin where there is a long tradition of respect for music, it may be different there.


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Offline eric

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2011, 04:36:58 PM »
Quote
one belligerent drunk started heckling me to play something by Elton John, who btw I truly loathe, when I told him I didn't know any he wanted to fight me.

A couple of observations here:  In the above situation, it seems clear that adding some variety to your repertoire is not going to help much...perhaps keeping your National Steel close by would be wise...

In my younger days, a girlfriend and I would go to a club south of Fresno to hear her brother's C&W band.  The owner had only one arm, and after you paid the cover, she would place your hand on her stump and stamp it with her one good arm, kind of setting the tone for the evening.  Invariably on Friday and Saturday nights there would be brawls; people rarely got hurt badly because it turns out that drunk cowboys are hopelessly bad fighters.  In any case, the musicians were, by an unspoken consensus, off limits.  So apparently night club etiquette has taken a turn for the worse.  I don't recall any requests for Elton John tunes...

  
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Eric

Offline Coyote Slim

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2011, 05:41:25 PM »

In my younger days, a girlfriend and I would go to a club south of Fresno to hear her brother's C&W band.  The owner had only one arm, and after you paid the cover, she would place your hand on her stump and stamp it with her one good arm, kind of setting the tone for the evening.  Invariably on Friday and Saturday nights there would be brawls; people rarely got hurt badly because it turns out that drunk cowboys are hopelessly bad fighters.  In any case, the musicians were, by an unspoken consensus, off limits.  So apparently night club etiquette has taken a turn for the worse.  I don't recall any requests for Elton John tunes...

  

Good story.  Whereabouts was that place?  "south of Fresno" is vague, but then not a whole lot of people know that area.

Pan -- keep playing bar gigs as long as you enjoy them.


Uncle Bud said <<one needs to distinguish between responses in this thread that are humorous (or in my case, flippant) and the more serious advice. Just as one would have to distinguish between different venues and environments, and between a genuine request for a specific blues tune that reflects an interest in what's being played (and perhaps made during a break), and somebody shouting out a request>>  and I agree  (of course, I have to say I'm surprised Uncle Bud is posting -- I heard he was dead.  But I guess he's just a goddamn liar, and was sick in bed).

 Learning how to deal with drunks is part of the musician's life.  The rest of the people in the audience are probably just as annoyed when some asshole yells out something obnoxious as the musician is.  The audience will appreciate it if the musician can tactfully deal with it.
Puttin' on my Carrhartts, I gotta work out in the field.

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Offline banjochris

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #32 on: January 26, 2011, 05:43:11 PM »
There's a local band that plays Django-style Gypsy jazz -- I happened upon them at a restaurant once, and asked them if they could play "Limehouse Blues." Not only did they look startled (and played the tune), but one of the guitarists went out of his way to thank me about a half-hour later for requesting something that was part of their milieu -- he said they usually got requests for Dylan.
Chris

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2011, 08:15:19 PM »
Thats why I always carry Popiels Leprosy in a can...just in case!
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
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Offline eric

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2011, 09:32:32 PM »
Coyote Slim asked:
Quote
Whereabouts was that place?

Slim, That would have been the De Marquis Club in Truck City.  But there were places like it all over the valley.
--
Eric

Offline sustaireblues

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2011, 06:28:48 AM »
Well, when most people think "blues", they mean "chicago blues", and of course the blues brothers were basically an homage or send-up of that style. I like that kind of blues, for about 20 minutes or so, and then it usually gets boring to me. Hold on, not saying that some of the "masters" of that are boring, mainly thinking about when I go to a "blues festival" and the bands are all doing generic chicago blues and pretty much all sounding the same. Nowhere near the diversity and richness found in CB. But basically that's what the public thinks of when "blues" is mentioned.

I think you've got the right approach Pan, follow you're bliss and help open the ears of those that get the opportunity to hear you play. It's great music, and it's accessible, just not widely disseminated in our so called culture.

Spread the magic,
Joe

Offline Slack

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2011, 01:42:16 PM »
There's a local band that plays Django-style Gypsy jazz -- I happened upon them at a restaurant once, and asked them if they could play "Limehouse Blues." Not only did they look startled (and played the tune), but one of the guitarists went out of his way to thank me about a half-hour later for requesting something that was part of their milieu -- he said they usually got requests for Dylan.
Chris

Similar thing happened at a Gonzalo Bergara house concert.  A woman in her 80's asked Gonzalo if he took requests - you could see him start to slouch, sunken look on his face - until she said "Limehouse Blues".  She was a long time El Paso guitar teacher, still teaches in fact, who knew the genre.

Drunks are tough.  We play a winery a couple of times in the summer.  One party, the women were falling in the flower beds while dancing, coming up to the band and taking our cowboy hats off and ruffling our hair while playing.  One threatened to take her clothes off.  Sad thing, no wanted to see her naked.

Our bass player is a story teller and this is much funnier in person - he was playing a bar (for another band), the band was at dance floor level and a drunk came right up him to make some unintelligible song request and then promptly threw up all over his bass and shirt.  The band had to take a little break while he cleaned things up.  I think I'd rather see a brawl.

... back on topic.  ...the line I like use is:  "We can just barely play the songs we've practiced!"  Honesty is the best policy.  :P
« Last Edit: January 27, 2011, 01:45:01 PM by Slack »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2011, 09:09:33 PM »
Our bass player is a story teller and this is much funnier in person - he was playing a bar (for another band), the band was at dance floor level and a drunk came right up him to make some unintelligible song request and then promptly threw up all over his bass and shirt.  The band had to take a little break while he cleaned things up.

And we have a winner!

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2011, 10:08:30 PM »
I was going to say "everyone's a critic!"
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
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Offline nobocaster

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2011, 11:07:32 PM »
My curse doesn't seem to be the Blues Brothers, but Bluegrass.  It seems many people have associated that word with all acoustic music.  I have been told countless times after (or during) a show, "Nice Bluegrass!"  or something like that.  Hmm.  It's usually nice drunk people who seem to want to relate to it somehow.  Like.. "These guys are playing twangy sounding music, it's upbeat, old fashioned.. I think I saw that in O Brother Where Art Thou!  It must be Bluegrass!"  I usually will just politely say thanks.  If they insist on talking about Bluegrass, I might explain that Bluegrass is a somewhat specific type of music that while I might enjoy listening to it sometimes, I certainly don't play it.  Then I start feeling like a nerd, talking about traditional musical styles, their evolutions, and where the music I play fits in with it all. 

  We most often play for a college age crowd at bars, and there's one other recent phenomena I've noticed.  We get requests for the song "Wagon Wheel" all the time.  If your'e not familiar (which I wasn't at first either), it's a college radio hit by the Old Crow Medicine Show.  It seems this song has become the Kumbaya of today's twenty somethings with crunchy-alt-country leanings.  There's nothing wrong with the song itself, or that band I suppose, but it's not what I do!  Ugh.  I usually take the approach of "Sorry.  I've heard it, but I don't know it."  Which is true, and it's gonna stay that way!

  And yes, it's sooo nice when someone in the audience requests Mississippi John Hurt or something like that.  That might be the only name they know from that style (like I might only know to request Limehouse Blues from a Gypsy Jazz band), and I always appreciate that not only do they want to interact, but they sort of recognize what I'm going for.

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #40 on: January 28, 2011, 01:41:16 AM »
>>"We can just barely play the songs we've practiced!"

I'm going to remember that one, Slack. Very useful.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Stumblin

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #41 on: January 28, 2011, 05:11:47 AM »
My curse doesn't seem to be the Blues Brothers, but Bluegrass.  It seems many people have associated that word with all acoustic music.  I have been told countless times after (or during) a show, "Nice Bluegrass!"  or something like that.  Hmm.  It's usually nice drunk people who seem to want to relate to it somehow.  Like.. "These guys are playing twangy sounding music, it's upbeat, old fashioned.. I think I saw that in O Brother Where Art Thou!  It must be Bluegrass!"  I usually will just politely say thanks.  If they insist on talking about Bluegrass, I might explain that Bluegrass is a somewhat specific type of music that while I might enjoy listening to it sometimes, I certainly don't play it.  Then I start feeling like a nerd, talking about traditional musical styles, their evolutions, and where the music I play fits in with it all.
Yep, I've been charged with playing Bluegrass too! And came across as a total nerd while trying to explain the difference.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #42 on: January 28, 2011, 07:43:03 AM »
Quote
Yep, I've been charged with playing Bluegrass too! And came across as a total nerd while trying to explain the difference.

We've all, I trust, noticed the name of this forum and understand its implications? ;)
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Slack

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #43 on: January 28, 2011, 08:29:52 AM »
>>"We can just barely play the songs we've practiced!"

I'm going to remember that one, Slack. Very useful.

It works pretty well because it confuses and disarms then at the same time.  And while they are trying to process what you just said -- you begin your next number.

Offline Richard

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #44 on: January 28, 2011, 12:27:46 PM »
Back in the early 70s (?) there was some awful pop band called Slade which took Endiand by storm (or so I'm told) anyway I remember a jazz gig where some brain dead girl in a tartan outfit came up and instist we "play Slade" to which the trumpet player looked down on her, as one would and asked "how are you spelling that slayed?" The finer point of the English language was lost on her and I recall she reverted to AngloSaxon and told us to fornicate off!
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #45 on: January 28, 2011, 02:56:07 PM »
'Can you play Elton John'?

'If you put some strings on him'...

Offline Stumblin

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #46 on: January 28, 2011, 03:35:49 PM »
Quote
Yep, I've been charged with playing Bluegrass too! And came across as a total nerd while trying to explain the difference.

We've all, I trust, noticed the name of this forum and understand its implications? ;)
Touch?. No offence intended or taken on any side.  8)

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #47 on: January 29, 2011, 08:04:38 AM »
I really like your line, John D.  It's funny, deals with the issue, and I don't see how anyone could take offense--pretty disarming.
All best,
Johnm

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