Is soul or funk blues?

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Is soul or funk blues?

Postby justdance » Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:55 pm

I have heard this arguement from a number of people over a period of time. So much so that I started to believe it. But now I have done some research and I can not find a single reference from blues historians that soul is blues. i can not find a single revefence from a music guide of all kinds of music that makes this distinction. I have found a number of sources that state rock and roll is the blues baby, very closely linked.

I think this is coming from the Ray Charles argument. Since he does blues and is sometimes listed with blues musicians that everything he does is blues. And that is not the case. He crosses genres.

It may also be a race thing or it could be the emotion wallop that some soul punches that is also found in good blues.

Shrug, I don't know I don't understand the case of soul=blues, someone please explain and give a reference who is not a Lindy Hopper/blues dancer.
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Postby 12bars » Wed Apr 20, 2005 3:46 pm

francis david, he history of the blues pg 229 wrote:" in someways, soul simply replaced the blues. motown was black pop whos success could be attributed to a slickness blues listeners prided themselves on not needing. but soul as exemplified by ray charles, otis redding, aretha franklin, all green, and early james brown was another story: pop more urgently contemporary than motown, but as downhome as blues in dialect and frame of reference. maybe more downhome, in a way, because it caught the echos of sunday morning as well as those of saturday night. but soul was itself was eventually usurped by its offshoot, funk, which by pinning its rhythms to the first beat of the measure instead of the second, turned the familiar beat of black music completely around. "


im looking for the quote about early soulsters possibly being considered bluesmen based on who they learned from. ill post it when i remember which book its in.

but i look at it like this:
soul falls under the larger genre of "blues" as well as country blues, electric blues, 20s blueswomen, ect; in the same way new orleans jazz, dixieland, bigband, bop, and modern jazz, fall under the larger "jazz" genre.

somepeople consider soul as its own larger genre, and i dont really take issue with that. but ...well...it is and it isnt.

funk, i think is different enough in sound and rhythm that it doesnt really fall under the larger "blues" genre.
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Postby LindyChef » Wed Apr 20, 2005 5:31 pm

All Music Guide recognizes Soul-Blues as a legit genre, basically defining them as blues artists that add some horn/gospel feel; additionally, a lot of soul singers have their roots in the blues (Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, etc). It's even interesting how some Soul singers paid tribute to the blues. James Brown did the album Messing with the Blues which has some interesting little gems.
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Postby Nando » Wed Apr 20, 2005 6:18 pm

I was about to say the same thing as Cook.

Good thing I looked closely at the Topic Review before posting my original statement.
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Postby 12bars » Wed Apr 20, 2005 7:12 pm

where do we file kim massie along the blues-soul continuum?
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Postby justdance » Wed Apr 20, 2005 10:51 pm

No one has yet to be able to make a good argument that soul is blues. You have correctly pointed out that soul artists cross over into blues but so do Country, rock, and Jazz musicians. And you have correctly pointed out that some music mixes elements of soul and blues, to make Soul-blues but there is also done with Rock and Jazz to make rock-blues and jazz-blues. So those arguements hold up only as long as you say everyone who did blues makes there primary musical type blues and you say that all music that is mixed with blues makes that other part of the mix blues.

I think of this analogy. Willie Nelson the counrty artist did 1 jazz album. that does make counrty music the same as jazz music. Or does that make him a jazz artist. He's a country artist that did some jazz music.

It also makes no sense to say soul is blues and funk is not. Funk is modified soul. A sub-genre. Disco is simplified funk. So, I see them as all blues(soul, funk, and disco) or none of them are blues.
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Postby lindycrush » Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:00 pm

justdance wrote:No one has yet to be able to make a good argument that soul is blues. You have correctly pointed out that soul artists cross over into blues but so do Country, rock, and Jazz musicians. And you have correctly pointed out that some music mixes elements of soul and blues, to make Soul-blues but there is also done with Rock and Jazz to make rock-blues and jazz-blues. So those arguements hold up only as long as you say everyone who did blues makes there primary musical type blues and you say that all music that is mixed with blues makes that other part of the mix blues.

I think of this analogy. Willie Nelson the counrty artist did 1 jazz album. that does make counrty music the same as jazz music. Or does that make him a jazz artist. He's a country artist that did some jazz music.

It also makes no sense to say soul is blues and funk is not. Funk is modified soul. A sub-genre. Disco is simplified funk. So, I see them as all blues(soul, funk, and disco) or none of them are blues.

Ok, you win. I know what makes me dance and you can call it what you want. I'm not bothered.

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Postby bryn » Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:02 pm

All music somehow relates to all other music. You can't put it into neat little boxes. Don't try.
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Postby justdance » Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:35 pm

No you win, I guess it's all blues, everything that has elements or mixed with it,and artist that tried it makes them a blues artist and all their music blues music. So would someone please play Depeche Mode at the next blues event I really like them and they make me want to dance. And the covered a few blues songs.

Every form of music in america has some blues roots. The question is where is the cut off. I am getting the feeling people want to define soul as blues because they like it, not because it's any closer then any other form of american music.
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Postby bryn » Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:47 pm

Soul is just as much blues as it is disco.

We have labels for genres so that when you say you like a song and someone asks what kind of song it is, you can concisely tell them in a word and they will have a general idea of what you're talking about. If I want to describe a soul song, I'm not going to call it blues, I'm going to call it soul. But if I want to talk about a general range of music called blues, I might lump some soul in under that umbrella because it shares the characteristics that I'm talking about.

Just because a song is labelled "blues," however, does not necessarily make it a great choice for a blues dance. If you like a song and it makes you want to dance in a way that you would define as blues dancing, great. Play it at a blues dance. If you don't really like a song and it doesn't make you want to dance even though it's technically a blues song... for the love, don't play it.

Beyond that, maybe I'm missing the point... why do you care whether soul is blues or not?
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Postby Damon » Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:00 am

Okay, so what exactly will it take to convince you that soul is within th eblues genre, or that some soul falls within the genre?

I could without a doubt provide lists of musicians that play what the record labels have divided into soul and blues and show how the forms mix and meld, I could get some quotes from a critic or two... would that do it?
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Postby justdance » Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:05 am

Well because a lot of people in the swing community say it is, and I have not heard one person or source outside the swing community say it is. I am trying to understand where this comes from and why? If people say it's soul and they want to play and dance to it at a swing or blues events, cool, as a novelty or something. I just don't get why swing dancers call it blues?
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Postby justdance » Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:23 am

Damon wrote:Okay, so what exactly will it take to convince you that soul is within th eblues genre, or that some soul falls within the genre?

I could without a doubt provide lists of musicians that play what the record labels have divided into soul and blues and show how the forms mix and meld, I could get some quotes from a critic or two... would that do it?


Any reference would be fine, that's all I asked for in the intial post.
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Postby lindycrush » Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:27 am

justdance wrote:Well because a lot of people in the swing community say it is, and I have not heard one person or source outside the swing community say it is. I am trying to understand where this comes from and why? If people say it's soul and they want to play and dance to it at a swing or blues events, cool, as a novelty or something. I just don't get why swing dancers call it blues?

I can't think of one person I know that considers all the music that they like to "blues dance" to as "blues music".

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Postby Damon » Thu Apr 21, 2005 5:01 am

amg wrote:Perhaps one of the most modern forms of blues, Soul-Blues fuses disparate elements of black popular music to create a wholly urban amalgam of its own. Artists who wanted to move stylistically beyond the three-chord confines of conventional blues forms found the rhythm & blues strain of the 1950s and the southern soul style of the mid-'60s far more to their creative liking. Soul-blues combines the best elements of the two and blends that with the standard blues band instrumentation — sometimes augmented with an R&B-styled horn section. The genre also provides more traditional blues artists with a style to visit on occasion, injecting some contemporary life into their recordings. — Cub Koda

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