Friday, October 24, 2008

The First Time I Met The Blues

No, I was not walking through the woods.

I was actually 17 years old and a senior in High School, located in the suburbs of New York.

I can remember it like it was yesterday, as opposed to almost half my life ago(!). We had and assembly in the theater, during Black History month, and it had to do with African-American music. Now, for a primarily Jewish community in the suburbs of New York this certainly was something different. I had actually been way into rap music since the seventh grade, so urban music was nothing real new to me. (Don’t ask me how I got into it... I know it seems strange).

This, however, had to do with the rootsier side of the music. There was traditional African drumming and dancing, and at one point this was broken up by a guy who came out on stage, all alone, and sat down on a stool with his acoustic guitar.

Now, I can’t tell you what songs he sang, and I can’t tell you what kind of guitar he played. Heck, I couldn’t even tell you what he was wearing. For all I know it was Robert Johnson himself, looking like he does in that famous picture. No, I couldn’t tell you any of this.

What I can tell you is how it made me feel. It hit me like a ton of bricks, and the rest of the world disappeared for those few moments he was playing. I remember thinking “I would love to be able to do this.”

This was the first time I met the Blues. As I reminisce I consider myself quite fortunate when I think about what was to happen next...

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