Tag Archives: blues music history

Blues Faces, Young and Old

Frequently Asked Questions About The Blues

Question: Isn’t the best Blues music played by the older folks?

Answer: By the time the Blues Revival of the 1960’s happened, many early blues performers who were still alive had already slipped into old age. In 1964 during the Newport Folk Festival, many new fans began to acquaint themselves with older performers who were coming out of retirement. Son House was one great blues legend who graced the stage with his grandfather-like presence. Today we can go to a Buddy Guy concert or watch footage of later performances of B.B. King and get a general idea of what age group best represents the sound of the Blues. It’s easy to personify all bluesmen or blueswomen as seasoned, well-experienced individuals. But we need to remember that the subtle wisdom of the Blues originally came from the young. All you have to do is listen to some of the first recordings from the early 1900’s and realize that the root voices of the Blues came from musicians who were in their twenties and thirties. The Blues as a genre may already span over a hundred years, but it’s spirit from the start had actually been a youthful one.

Here is a look at a handful of Blues Masters, as they were young, and as they grew older: