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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blues And Snake Update


If you had the chance to read my post about Blues and Snake (click here) then you probably enjoyed one of my rants on lazy reporting, and bands riding on the coattails of blues. However, I need to make a correction. I received a comment from one of the guys in the band who explained that the reporter made up a lot of the story, and that they never claimed to be a blues band. That they did have some sort of influence from Howling Wolf, but they consider themselves to be a hardcore band.

I do feel sorry that I was hard on the kids, after all I should know that reporters make up quotes, misquote, and are generally pretty lazy. I not saying all reporters are that way. Dana Larson, who is the editor for the Pilot Tribune, here in Storm Lake, has always done a great job anytime I have talked to him for a story. Yet, almost every interview i have had over the years has ended up garbled, and messed up. So much so, that I have just grown to distrust almost everyone, but Dana.

Sometimes bad reporting has ruined reputations almost beyond repair. I think one of the greatest tragedies of bad reporting goes back to the death of Mama Cass. Almost everyone thinks that she died from choking on a ham sandwich. However, that is not true. What happened was a reporter pressed the medical examiner to speculate on why she died. The medical examiner knew a half eaten sandwich was found in the room, and speculated that she died of a heart attack while choking on the sandwich. Of course, he later found out that she didn't choke, but died from a heart attack. After all Cass was a big woman, and was in ill health. Unfortunately Mama Cass became the but of a ton of jokes, because people made fun of the fact that a fat woman died choking on a sandwich even though IT WASN'T TRUE.

Finally, I need to address one comment about musical snobbery that came from one of the blues and snakes fans that left a comment on the board. It is not musical snobbery to defend the blues. It is also not a case that I know more about blues then anyone else and I am flaunting it. What I am doing is trying get the truth out about the blues. there is so much BS about blues, that it tires me, when people called it the "devils music" or "depressing music" or when a band thinks they can get a gig, or sell more cds by claiming they are blues, when they have no clue what the blues are. I would say that wouldn't you get angry if I were to call myself a hardcore band, and try to pass myself off as that???? Of course you would say that my music is not hardcore! Yup! Just like I would say that the music you listen to is not blues! I don't think I am being a snob about that. I also will continue to battle the misconception that Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil to play the blues. Perhaps this is a trivial matter to many of you, but it is important to me. Robert worked hard to learn and play his instrument. EVERY blues performer worked hard, and practiced for years to learn to play the blues. It sells Robert and every blues performer that followed him short, to believe that the blues is so easy that all you have to do is go down to the crossroads late at night and sign a paper selling your soul, and you are a bluesman. If you do a search on Robert Johnson on this site, you will see a lot of posts about this issue. I write about it, because I am tired of hearing the story. It has nothing to do with the blues, and the connection be the devil, or Legba, or Satan, and the blues is a minor part that receives far too much press, and legitimacy from lazy reporters who have watch the movie Crossroads, once to many time.

Bottom line, to the band Blues and Snake, keep up the good work. I think you guys are a great band. To anyone else offended get a life:-)

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