Saturday, July 11, 2009
blind lemon jefferson b. july 11 1897
while i'm pretty sure dylan & kristofferson & jackson browne were the reasons i first started playing guitar(girls, girls girls), i will say that listening to the great blues guys makes me sure of why i still play. while the complexity & nuance of this music falls on the dilettante's deaf ears, the impulse behind the music is both open & closed in fundamental ways. it is open in the raw emotion but closed in that the emotion is performed, touching on authentic expression while swerving away from it & "fixing" it through a formally intricate system of music & performance. the blues is a kind of "primal scene," returned to over & over in an attempt to bind its power, the subtleties of its strategies hypnotic in their repetitive insistence.
in other words, dylan & browne were attractive in their embodiment of music's power; blind lemon jefferson is astonishing in his enactment of music's knowledge.