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Big Bang Blues

Tom Daniel discusses blues music, from the 2022 Abbeville Institute Summer School at Seabrook Island, SC, July 5-8, 2022 https://youtu.be/NZ9_hcxfpLw Note: The views expressed on abbevilleinstitute.org are not necessarily those of the Abbeville Institute.
Tom Daniel
September 29, 2022

What Makes This Musician Great?–Robert Johnson

The sixth Southern musician to be examined in this series of What Makes This Musician Great will be a bluesman that was so good he became a ghost story – Robert Johnson. The Blues is probably the most significant musical form created anywhere in the world in the 20th century, and it absolutely came straight out of the Mississippi Delta,…
Tom Daniel
August 31, 2021

What Makes This Musician Great?–Ray Charles

In this third installment of the series “What Makes this Musician Great,” I will try my best to explain Ray Charles, but I may already be in over my head.  Previously, I have asserted that music is something that connects you directly to the mental state of the musician, and a vital part of that path involves forming a personal…
Tom Daniel
August 11, 2021

Damn Right You Should Listen to the Blues

“The blues ain’t nothin’ but a good man feelin’ bad,” according to “Negro Blues,” penned in 1913. There’s no question about the “feelin’ bad” part. The genre is defined by its twelve-bar tune with the distinctive flatted third and seventh notes on the major scale (producing the “blue” note) coupled with lyrics of misery, injustice, and even sometimes self-loathing. One…
Casey Chalk
September 9, 2020

Lead Belly’s Southern Roots

Sometime around 1939, Lead Belly sang the song Daddy I’m Coming Back to You, which features the interesting lyrics: “I’m dreaming tonight of an old Southern town, the best friend I ever had...I’ve had my way, but now I’ll stay, I long for you and for home.” The song was a tribute to Jimmie Rodgers, who is often considered one…
Michael Martin
August 3, 2018