I grew up on the south side of Chicago and so the blues were all around me. At age 14, the first concert I went to on my own was Muddy Waters. The Blues and I became friends early in life, and I think I know my way around them, musically and emotionally. The great literary mind of Tom Waits once said, “The Blues is like a planet. It’s an enormous topic. You can’t ignore the impact it had and continues to have on the whole musical culture. It’s a tree that everyone is swinging from. Without it, I don’t know where I would be. It’s indelible and indispensable.”

It’s no surprise that for me, the Blues is a river. Its journey began in Africa. The sounds and the call and response of the talking drums migrated across the Atlantic Ocean, stepped off in New Orleans, found homes in field hollers, in gospel tents, and on front porches with a jug of moonshine. It caught the Pullman train up north and out west, electrified itself in Chicago, married into horn sections and big bands, and strode confidently up to the microphone to sing out its presence with all its joy and pain to the waiting world. The Blues lays out the welcome sign to anyone who wants to listen, to join in, and/or who just wants to receive some release and some comfort. The Blues is home.

On Sunday, September 26, at 5 pm The Jazz River Has The Blues and brings you samples from its tributaries near and far, familiar and exotic. Only on KUVO JAZZ!

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