It Seems That To Be A Famous Blues Musician You Have To Be Over 65 Or Dead



Ted Gioia goes in search of the youth movement in blues with five artists to listen to now.

” Ask a random sample of music fans to name a living blues musician. Most will probably mention B.B. King, who turns 88 this month. A few might say Buddy Guy, a comparatively young 77. Or those who prefer a newer kid on the block might choose Eric Clapton, going strong at age 68.”

” Blues fans celebrate their oldsters. No other musical genre comes close. David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards, who recently passed away at age 96, enjoyed his peak earning years during the last decade of his life. T-Model Ford, who died in July at the possible age of 94 (not even Mr. Ford was certain about his year of birth), didn’t even get a record contract until 1995—although he wasn’t much younger than Robert Johnson. Seasick Steve, in his early seventies, is just entering his glory years.”




” Face it, we like our blues singers to show some signs of decrepitude. With the possible exception of Pope, no other job puts quite so much emphasis on age and experience. But do blues musicians really need to be so old? Are we unfairly neglecting the up-and-coming in favor of the old and infirm?



” Meanwhile, here are five youth acts in blues music that are delivering the goods today. The youngest musician on the list is in his early teens; the oldest recently turned forty. Each warrants yours attention, and gives me some hope that the future of this music is in good hands.”



Here’s a taste of some of the newer artists mentioned in the article .



North Mississippi Allstars

Guadalupe Plata

Gary Clark Jr

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