I have been so freaking melancholy this month. I think a lot of it has to do with the one year anniversary of the death of my mentor Jimmy Pryor, and the death of my good friend John Woody Wood. I suppose that I need to accept that this is part of life, and part of the blues. Especially the blues, since we more than any other art form celebrate our older performers. I think that is why I have always loved the blues. It fits into my love of history since we see our blues players as living history. So when they go, even when they have been with us for years, it still hurts. You think of Pop or Rock music, and a lot of them fade away and disappear only years later to end up as a blurb in a newspaper Obit. (Yes, I know the Stones are still going, but they are an exception)
Of course, it not true that all blues performers get that respect. Some have faded away into history, and that is sad. I really believe that if an old blues performer lives in your area and has the desire and need to play, then find them a gig. I think we did a great job in Des Moines searching out those players. Hopefully, other towns can follow our example. Get active and find those jewels of blues history, and give them another chance to shine!