The Blues Porch



Article Published: Jul. 2 | Modified: Jul. 2
The Blues Porch

This summer, the Blue Ridge ArtSpace’s front porch will become The Blues Porch, featuring live, interactive, blues-centric jams each Saturday.

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After you have spent a day celebrating the Red, White and Blue, having eaten all the watermelon and picnic fare you can possibly hold, while enjoying parades, fireworks and patriotic music, it’s time to chill out.

The Watauga County Arts Council has just the solution: The Blues Porch.

Each Saturday, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., the Blue Ridge ArtSpace’s covered porch will become The Blues Porch, a blues-centric jam session that features the blues, but caters to the whims, interests and favorite tunes of those present.

Musicians, vocalists, foot-stompers, groupies — all are welcome to this unplugged (no amps) session each Saturday afternoon.

“The intent of The Blues Porch is to bring musicians, vocalists and listeners together in a format that lets everyone participate easily and fluidly,” WCAC executive director Cherry Johnson said. “For this, the blues is the perfect focal point. The Blues Porch will not be a jam session confined to the blues. That’s just our touchstone and starting point.

“If you’re unfamiliar with the blues, here’s a quick intro: The basic blues form is simple and repetitive, which can be expected given its stylistic origins, which makes it very easy for beginners to follow along with, play or sing. However, the almost endless variations allow plenty of room for the more experienced musician or vocalist to experiment. The fact that it shows up in almost every form of music popular in America today means that anyone who likes and listens to and/or plays American music has familiarity with the blues form.”

The blues gets its stylistic origins from Afro-American folk music, works songs and spirituals and began in late 19th-century Southern United States. Typically, the blues will include such instruments as guitar, bass guitar, piano, upright bass, drums, saxophone, trumpet, cornet, trombone and harmonica, and it’s not unusual to include some vocals.

Blues can include other well-known genres, such as boogie-woogie, classic female blues, country blues, Delta blues, electric blues and piano blues, to name a few, and bluegrass, jazz, R&B and rock have derived from the original blues styles.

“If you would like to enjoy a relaxed afternoon on the porch on a summer afternoon, come spend it with the blues on The Blues Porch,” Johnson said.

Admission is free, although donations are accepted. Johnson also suggested that participants and audience members bring their own chairs, since only a limited number is available at the ArtSpace.
The Blue Ridge ArtSpace is located at 377 Shadowline Drive in Boone. For more information, call (828) 264-1789, or visit http://www.watauga-arts.org.

The Blues Porch is co-sponsored by the Watauga County Arts Council and the Carolina Artist Salon, which exists to provide opportunities for its members to meet regularly with one another, share their creations and creative processes, receive appropriate encouragement or constructive criticism if they so desire and discuss problems and implement possible solutions to challenges that are common to the arts.

More information about The Blues Porch can be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CarolinaArtistsSalon.

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