Home > The Main Room > The Okie Corral > Can White Guys Sing The Blues?

Can White Guys Sing The Blues?

  1. Recently read an interview with the late great Muddy Waters. He said that while there are many fine white blues instrumentalists (exact quote was "some of them can play rings around you") none of them can "vocalize like the black man". He had a point IMHO.

    OTOH the late great jazz saxophonist Lester Young said his favorite blues vocal performance of all time was Frank Sinatra's take on "Blues In The Night". Of course Sinatra didn't try to sound like a black man when he sang the blues.
  2. srv
  3. Gary Moore
  4. He had the advantage of being a southerner which helps. My favorite all around vocalist in any genre is his fellow Texan Delbert McClinton.
  5. Can blue guys sing the whites?
  6. I don't like the blues. They make me....sad.
  7. Yes.
  8. Wow, what about Eric Clapton or Stevie Ray Vaughan? And I thought Joe Cocker was black the first few times I heard him sing. I’m sure I could name more if I took the time.
  9. I thought Popa Chubby was black and not a Jewish kid from the Bronx. HH
  10. Got every one of their albums. Butterfield was amazing on harp as were Bloomfield and Bishop on guitar, but Butterfield could not (as Muddy Waters said) "vocalize like a black man". Hell, you can hear the difference on the very first album when drummer Sam Lay took the vocals on "Got My Mojo Working". It's still a great album with one of my favorite versions of "Mystery Train".

    Edited add that Buzzy Feiten was unbelievable as a 17 year old guitarist in the band on the "Keep On Moving" album and at Woodstock.
  11. I've known two local blues musicians that could. Both were white and didn't sound white or black, just blue.
  12. I love blues music...anyone could sing or play an instrument with blues music. I appreciate it so much more because I play and sing.

    Other countries have their own versions of the blues with different tones and instruments.

    I can listen to blues music all day every day.
  13. Even in the US. The original country music (not the country pop pablum of today) was the white man's blues (and like Al Anderson sang "It didn't come from outer space, it came from the South") :)
  14. Yep.

    View: https://youtu.be/4WXYjm74WFI
  15. Well, muddy has a point, but BB king said about Peter Greene, "He has the sweetest tone I have ever heard. He was the only one who gave me the cold sweats" --of course he was "only' talking about his guitar playing, but Peter Green could sing the blues, too. And I think to either sing of play the Blues, you've just got to have soul.

  16. IMO Muddy was more referring to where the blues came from vs the actual nuances of their vocal style. Many bluesmen of the Chicago or Mississippi Delta types were rightfully ambivalent of British white dudes copping their licks.
    ....but Clapton was the real deal, his roots, upbringing and early life were hard times and he gained the respect of those guys.
    So yeah, white guys absolutely can.
  17. Well then OP, Muddy Waters was a racist. And you're letting them play you if you think he had a point.

    I'll bet if you polled a large sample of black people, more than 75% (at least) would tell you the person who sings this song is black. It's not blues, but that's not really the point.

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gV81mKADcA
  18. Jagger could get it done. Stray Cat Blues on get yer ya yas out, for example
  19. 3 chords and the truth.
  20. It would appear the answer is: "Yes."

    The Far Side - Why Don't You Play Some Blues, Andrew.jpg
  21. Bonamassa does a really good job of singing the blues, and his guitar playing is excellent.

    He said when he grew up he preferred listening to the British blues guys. So did I, because I could understand their speech patterns much easier than the "how how how" stuff from some black bluesmen. I didn't grow up around many black people, so understanding the dialect eluded me.

    Of course these days, that makes you a 'racist', but it isn't that. It was just lack of exposure to the dialect. Those blues players were some awesome guitar players, no doubt about that.

    ZZ Top also does the 'how how how' stuff in some of their songs. They're about as white as you can get.
  22. I generally agree with Muddy. Joe Cocker might be an exception.

    View: https://youtu.be/U5ReYop8Fa0
  23. Unpossible. White privilege and all.
  24. So, what topic will we be racializing tomorrow?
  25. Yes, Gregg Allman sang the blues.
  26. Led Zeppelin played some blues.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  27. I guess this means that Black People can’t realistically play Classical music. Wadda’ buncha’ crapola.

    And. I can run a blues riff off a Marine Band that would make you swear you were on the south side of Chicago in 1953. Honey chile.
  28. Utter baloney.
    Blacks aren’t the only ones who get the blues, play the blues or sing the blues.
    Clapton, Joe Bonamassa and dozens of other white artists are good examples.
  29. Yes. See Tab Benoit.
  30. Kenny Wayne Shepard.
  31. 6BAF2041-F86F-4068-97C7-5700BCC3FF25.jpeg

    Check him out at Kingston Mines and other Chicago venues. That boy can sing and play the Blues.
  32. "Purple Blues"

  33. Ya' beat me to it. I knew the Allman Brothers before they were famous. The group I was in played the same club circuit they did. Mobile, St. Louis Gaslight Square, Paducah, etc ...

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn-nbcbfTy4
  34. How about Steve Winwood? When he was around 16 he sang for the Spencer Davis group way back when.

    Great bluesy voice.
  35. Now, the fifth daughter on the twelfth night
    Told the first father that things weren't right
    "My complexion," she says, "is much too white"
    He said, "Come here and step into the light"
    He said, "Hmm, you're right, let me tell the second mother this has been done"
    But the second mother was with the seventh son
    And they were both out on Highway 61

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTiWHXNTBdw
  36. Bruce Willis, yeah the actor. Great harmonica player too.
  37. Return of bruno
  38. I am calling racism on muddy.
  39. Which brings to mind this old piece on how to sing the blues

    How To Sing The Blues
    1. 1. Most Blues begin, "Woke up this morning..."

      2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues, unless you stick something nasty in the next line like, "I got a good woman, with the meanest face in town."

      3. The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes... sort of: "Got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Yes, I got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher, and she weigh 500 pound."

      4. The Blues is not about choice. You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a ditch--ain't no way out.

      5. Blues cars: Chevys, Fords, Cadillacs and broken-down trucks. Blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or Sport Utility Vehicles. Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft and company motor pools ain't even in the running. Walkin' plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.

      6. Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin' to die yet. Adults sing the Blues. In Blues, "adulthood" means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

      7. Blues can take place in New York City but not in Hawaii or any place in Canada. Hard times in Minneapolis or Seattle is probably just clinical depression. Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City are still the best places to have the Blues. You cannot have the blues in any place that don't get rain.

      8. A man with male pattern baldness ain't the blues. A woman with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg cause you were skiing is not the blues. Breaking your leg 'cause a alligator be chompin' on it is.

      9. You can't have no Blues in a office or a shopping mall. The lighting is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.

      10. Good places for the Blues:
      a. Highway
      b. Jailhouse
      c. An empty bed
      d. Bottom of a whiskey glass

      11. Bad places for the Blues:
      a. Nordstrom's
      b. Gallery openings
      c. Ivy league institutions
      d. Golf courses

      12. No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, 'less you happen to be a old black man and you slept in it.

      13. You have the right to sing the Blues if:
      a. You older than dirt
      b. You blind
      c. You shot a man in Memphis
      d. You can't be satisfied

      14. You don't have the right to sing the Blues if:
      a. You have all your teeth
      b. You were once blind but now can see
      c. The man in Memphis lived
      d. You have a pension fund

      15. Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the blues. Sonny Liston could. Ugly white people also got a leg up on the blues.

      16. If you ask for water and your darlin' give you gasoline, it's the Blues

      17. Other acceptable Blues beverages are:
      a. Cheap wine
      b. Whiskey or bourbon
      c. Muddy water
      d. Nasty black coffee

      18. The following are NOT Blues beverages:
      a. Perrier
      b. Chardonnay
      c. Snapple
      d. Slim Fast

      19. If death occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die. So is the electric chair, substance abuse and dying lonely on a broke-down cot. You can't have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match or while getting liposuction.

      20. Some Blues names for women:
      a. Sadie
      b. Big Mama
      c. Bessie
      d. Fat River Dumpling

      21. Some Blues names for men:
      a. Joe
      b. Willie
      c. Little Willie
      d. Big Willie

      22. Persons with names like Michelle, Amber, Debbie, and Heather can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

      23. Make your own Blues name Starter Kit: a. name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc.) b. first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Melon, Kiwi, etc.) c. last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.) For example: Blind Lime Jefferson, Jackleg Lemon Johnson or Cripple Kiwi Fillmore, etc. (Well, maybe not "Kiwi.")

      24. I don't care how tragic your life: if you own even one big screen TV, you cannot sing the blues.
  40. The blues are one of the few music genres I enjoy. Black, white, or any other color, it’s not about perfect vocals, but rather the feeling, or soul, felt in the vocals.
    Eric Clapton is Amazing.
    Joe Bonamassa is a Legend.
    Tab Benoit is soooo soulful.

    View: https://youtu.be/G27VKWgJeUE