Maybe this is a bit of an odd way to start a series of blogs but it's my intention that the alliterative Blues Show Bob's Blues Show Blog should report on life as lived by someone with an interest in Blues music and its performers.
My wife and I are currently in Brittany where we have spent many holidays on renovating (what was a derelict) 17th century farmhouse over the last sixteen years. It may even be 16th century but what's a few generations more or less?
Normally, when we're here, I go to a bar run by friends, Gary and Digena, and lead a Blues jam session. This has been the case for the past couple of years. When I'm not here, my good friends Jean-Charles and Linda Dutaret lead the jam and it's evolved into a situation where I lead one week, they lead the next. For me, whoever leads the jam, it's just a fun night and adds to the holiday experience.
But, at the end of 2015, the unthinkable happened: Gary and Digena sold the bar; a very selfish move which would adversely impact on our social (musical) lives. Gary promised to try to organise an evening in an alternative venue but nothing had transpired before tonight so...
...we had a jam in our house.
A couple of neighbours were invited as well as my wife and the usual playing suspects, Gary, Jean-Charles, Linda and me. I also wanted to test out a new PA system I'd bought just before heading for the French ferry and this was the ideal opportunity. We had a full-on electric jam session.
So, the four of us played our hearts out from Reconsider Baby to Need Your Love So Bad in the living room of our old farmhouse. We played a range of Blues tunes from most of the last century. It made me wonder what former residents of the house - and let's face it, there would have been many over the past four or even five hundred years - would have made of it. The ancients would have been of farming stock -although our house is said to have been the home of the tisserand - (the weaver) and they would have been people who worked from dawn to dusk for little reward. Life would have been hard for them without doubt. And maybe, in common with so many who seem to have been put on this Earth just to work until they die, they would have found their relaxation in music. This seems to have been a common theme - whether it was Breton paysannes, Welsh coal-miners or even slaves in the Mississippi Delta. They all worked, they all suffered lives of drudgery to make the rich man richer and they all used music as their release.
Maybe the ghosts of our forebears were singing along with us tonight. I'd like to think so.