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Use The Portland Blues

Music In The Schools?

Music In The Schools?

Portland baby boomers have more choices for a music festival.

Any summer weekend you can go downtown for a free concert at Saturday Market.

One weekend a year you can go to the big show by the river.

If it’s good enough for Robert Plant, why not you.

All that’s left is choosing your company.


  • You can go it alone and walk the Waterfront Blues Festival by yourself, but’s it’s a gamble.

You’ve seen lone wolf boomer.

From too much fun to too self-involved, they cover more ground than your average bi-polar music fan.

See the gray haired man with the tight trimmed hair dancing non-stop? He’s either channeling the blues, working off his quad-shot of Starbucks, or dancing with his demons.

When the dance bug strikes, why not have a partner? Because no one dances like that.

  • You can go with friends.

This is a dicey move since not everyone agrees on the definition of the blues. Too jazzy? Too much rock? It’s never just right for everyone.blue3

If your friends start arguing, look for one of them to go lone wolf and start an interpretive dance with their shirt off.

Now you ask, “Is this blues enough to join in?”

You won’t know until you shake it.

  • You can go with your kids.

This is ideal if one of your kids is a guitar player. Then you can listen together and decide who’s better in which band.

Baby boomers know their blues enough to make the right call. Of course they learned about the blues from the British interpretation before dipping into the originals.


Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band

Boomer can explain B.B. King through Led Zeppelin, which is a good way to meet Robert Plant in case the children draw a blank on the name.

  • You can go with your parents.

What eighty-something doesn’t love the blues?

If there’s a wheelchair involved, all the better. The music crowd always respects someone in a wheelchair.

My mother in law is eighty seven and spent the afternoon and early evening with the blues.

There’s something about transplanted regional music that makes everyone a fan.

If you don’t like the south, but love the blues, it’s okay.

If you love the south and wish everyone would leave the music alone, you’ve got a problem.

The blues are too universal for a permanent home. The genre may have started down south, but it traveled too far to stay on the farm.

Plug in an electric guitar and see what comes out. Chances are good that whatever you hear is grounded in the blues.

So who is the best company? What is the lasting impression from the 2013 Waterfront Blues Festival?

Same as every year, spend more time listening to the music and cruising around, not less?

What is your lasting impression?

A special vision of Portland in twilight is hard to beat.






About David Gillaspie
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