What sparked my interest in blues? I sure knew who Stevie Ray Vaughn, B.B. King, and Eric Clapton were when I was growing up. I’ve also been fortunate to attend several music festivals over the past 15 years or so, including the North Country Fair, the Canmore Folk Festival, the Calgary Folk Festival, and Edmonton’s Labatt Blues Festival. Music gatherings like these have planted seeds and fostered in me a new appreciation for the blues genre. I was reminded of the fact that many of our modern musical crossroads have their foundation in blues and its rich history. The radio station CKUA, which sponsors a number of these festivals, has also been a resource for me.
So, how did I find the Riverside? Some time ago, a television news program featured a report about the online virtual world called Second Life. I was curious, and I joined in January of 2009. I “discovered” the Riverside in early 2010, thanks to a DJ I knew there at the time. The Riverside has friendly people, great music, and it’s a great place to learn about blues in general, because the Riverside believes in playing pure blues.
I was quickly brought on board as a Riverside hostess. Thanks to the patient advice of Riverside proprietor Raymond65 Docherty, and Graham Dartmouth (my SL landlord, and owner of Crippled Willies’ Blues) I learned the rudiments of deejaying in Second Life.
It could very well be that the blues found me before I knew it. In the early 90’s I attended the North Country Fair near Slave Lake, Alberta. Many Canadian artists got some early exposure at music fairs like this, including k.d. lang and Colin James. Morgan Davis, who is from the Slave Lake area, was on the main stage playing some blues. This fair was one of my first music festival experiences. I was slow dancing with my boyfriend at the time, swaying to the music, and enjoying the late night atmosphere of the north country. Watching the two of us dance, a man grinned at us, and said, “Man, you two are what the blues are all about.”
That’s the magic of blues.