The philosophy of the blues From B.B. King to Billie Holiday, Blues music not only sounds good, but has an almost universal appeal in its reflection of the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Its ability to powerfully touch on a range of social and emotional issues is philosophically inspiring, and here, a diverse range of thinkers and musicians offer illuminating essays that make important connections between the human condition and the Blues that will appeal to music lovers and philosophers alike.
Foreword x Bruce Iglauer It Goes a Little Something Like This : An Introduction to Blues Philosophy for Everyone xvi Jesse R. Steinberg and Abrol Fairweather Acknowledgments xxviii PART 1 HOW BLUE IS BLUE? THE METAPHYSICS OF THE BLUES 1 1 Talkin' To Myself Again: A Dialogue on the Evolution of the Blues 3 Joel Rudinow 2 Reclaiming the Aura: B. B. King in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction 16 Ken Ueno 3 Twelve-Bar Zombies: Wittgensteinian Reflections on the Blues 25 Wade Fox and Richard Greene 4 The Blues as Cultural Expression 38 Philip Jenkins PART 2 THE SKY IS CRYING: EMOTION, UPHEAVAL, AND THE BLUES 49 5 The Artistic Transformation of Trauma, Loss, and Adversity in the Blues 51 Alan M. Steinberg, Robert S. Pynoos, and Robert Abramovitz 6 Sadness as Beauty: Why it Feels So Good to Feel So Blue 66 David C. Drake 7 Anguished Art: Coming Through the Dark to the Light the Hard Way 75 Ben Flanagan and Owen Flanagan 8 Blues and Catharsis 84 Roopen Majithia PART 3 IF IT WEREN T FOR BAD LUCK, I WOULDN'T HAVE NO LUCK AT ALL: BLUES AND THE HUMAN CONDITION 95 9 Why Can't We be Satisfied?: Blues is Knowin How to Cope 97 Brian Domino 10 Doubt and the Human Condition: Nobody Loves Me but my Momma and She Might be Jivin' Too 111 Jesse R. Steinberg 11 Blues and Emotional Trauma: Blues as Musical Therapy 121 Robert D. Stolorow and Benjamin A. Stolorow 12 Suffering, Spirituality, and Sensuality: Religion and the Blues 131 Joseph J. Lynch 13 Worrying the Line: Blues as Story, Song, and Prayer 142 Kimberly R. Connor PART 4 THE BLUE LIGHT WAS MY BABY AND THE RED LIGHT WAS MY MIND: RELIGION AND GENDER IN THE BLUES 153 14 Lady Sings the Blues: A Woman s Perspective on Authenticity 155 Meghan Winsby 15 Even White Folks Get the Blues 167 Douglas Langston and Nathaniel Langston 16 Distributive History: Did Whites Rip-Off the Blues? 176 Michael Neumann 17 Whose Blues?: Class, Race, and Gender in American Vernacular Music 191 Ron Bombardi Philosophical Blues Songs 203 Notes on Contributors 205