This musical celebration by legends of the blues will have you boogying up the Mississippi from New Orleans to Chicago.
It’s ironic that a style of music whose very name is the definition of sorrow and suffering can make you feel so good. The blues was born out of the African-American experience, which has been shaped by a history of oppression, discrimination and poverty. It’s no wonder, then, that the blues typically addresses the struggles of daily life, one in which being left by your lover and being broke are familiar themes. The tonal structure, singing style and lyrical content of traditional blues is the quintessential outlet for expressing deep, powerful and ultimately melancholy emotions.
But, a funny thing happened on the way to the juke joint. It turns out there’s another side of the story of the blues, one defined by joy, celebration and dancing. Wallowing isn’t the only way to confront your suffering; when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Nothing turns a bad situation into a good one like boogying your troubles away.
It was the arrival of the electric guitar in the 1940s that really transformed the blues from an intimate, acoustic style to upbeat dance music. The electrification of guitars and other instruments coincided with the great migration of African-Americans from the rural South to urban centers like Chicago. The vibrant music scene of the Windy City reshaped the sound of the blues, giving it an upbeat energy and positive spirit that reflected the improved economic opportunities of the era. Electrified in more ways then one, the blues now had the drive and volume to fill large venues and festivals, and ultimately, to provide the underpinnings of rock & roll.
This collection features some of our favorite upbeat blues cuts that turn pain into pleasure and sadness into celebration. They provide life lessons as well; sometimes the best way to deal with the devil is to laugh in its face, proving that nothing he throws in your path is going to keep you from letting the good times roll.