After a long and fulfilling experience playing fingerstyle Jazz chord harmonies on my Jazz guitars for the past few years, I have slowly been weaning my way back to the fingerstyle Blues that started me on this new musical journey in the first place.
There’s a whole rush of intensity and emotion for me when I play the Blues. I immediately feel connected back to a time of suffering and empathy that I do not always have while playing Rock or Jazz or Country music.
There is a deep and longing sadness in the Blues and it is in those marks of human sacrifice and resurrection that we learn to become kinder and more prescient human beings — at least during the melancholy life of a finger plucked Mississippi Delta Blues song.
In thinking about musical styles and the effect those tones have on us, and in the harmonics of the world, I happened upon this YouTube video of the great 7-string guitar player Charlie Hunter talking about the glum reality of being an everyday musician:
I appreciate Charlie’s earnestness and honesty. Can we ask anything more from a life? Here’s what I wrote about Charlie Hunter on May 2, 2011:
Charlie Hunter is an amazing guitar player. He’s most famous for playing an 8-string guitar with John Mayer. Sometimes he plays a 7-string guitar. His latest album — Public Domain — is a ton of magical fun as you listen to Charlie take on all the old musical standards that are now in the Public Domain while simultaneously playing the bass line and the melody on a non-6-string guitar.
We owe it to ourselves to create dangerous dreams and a want for treading on treacherous pathways — and in our current society, that road to destruction is usually paved in a Performing Arts degree — but that’s okay, because those of us on that road aren’t there because we chose it, or because we want to be walking alone; we’re there because that’s the only place in the world we were born to belong.