Why do I work as a blues DJ? Well, the long and the short of it is that I’m a frustrated musician. If I had any talent, I’d be playing my own blues. Since I don’t, I play (and treasure) what other artists have done.
As with so many of my generation. my first introduction to blues was from Eric Clapton, which led me to John Mayall and the early Yardbird recordings, then early Fleetwood Mac then to Elmore James and BB King. I enjoyed the music for years, but it wasn’t until I got into SL and started hanging out regularly at blues clubs that I became fully aware of the richness and variety of blues. DJs like Raymond and Fiery Otaared turned me on to the early blues cuts and their encyclopaedic knowledge led me to do my own research. Soon I was in the throes of “collectors disease.” I started DJ’ing in September ’09 and my collection is now over 10,000 tracks, including over a metric buttload of blues cuts. I have everything from Mamie Smith’s “Crazy Blues” to modern bands like the Cashbox Kings and 61 South; but more and more my love is the old cuts–Robert Johnson, Bessie Smith, Alberta Hunter…the whole 20’s and 30’s era. And I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well audiences at Riverside have taken to my set of all pre-war cuts.
I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned about the performers and the songs, and I especially enjoy when someone “lights up” and I can see the birth of another blues fanatic.