Bill Orcutt / Loren Connors
(The) Blues is information.
An etymological aside:
John Mactaggart’s “Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia” (1824) containing odd words he had learned while growing up in Galloway and elsewhere in Scotland, has an entry for Thread o’Blue, “any little smutty touch in song-singing, chatting, or piece of writing.”
This “smutty touch” is responsible fr countless laquers, 78’s, 45’s, LPs, + equally endless conjecture in the form of grey to yellow to purple scholarship, dissertations, articles, liner-notes, + questionable tomes. It is also responsible fr Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones.
Some maintain that (The) Blues is black, but I do not think it is as simple as that.
(The) Blues is information, such as that engenders allure, immersion, repetition, solace, joy…
(The) Blues is information, such as that engenders debate, obsession, one-upsmanship, isolation, death…
But take away the words (these included), take away the matrix numbers + the AAB verses + cultural studies and what have ye? A keening has been spoken of, something of a wail, in the presence again of death.
(The) Blues, without words (even these) is information. It is the substance of an impulse, a cipher, a penetrating exchange. When asked where the tunes he played came from, the great bluesman Robert Pete Williams said that he was playing the sound came to him over the air, a sound perhaps that though passing, has always been there.
What follows is the product of an afternoon, an afternoon on which very little was said. These men are antennae. A singular duality without the asking, transmission ditto.
- Keith Connolly, Aug ‘12, NYC
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