Discover the Blues is our new monthly blog. Articles will vary from blues history, to our thoughts on current topics, interviews with musicians and dancers, and links to fascinating documentaries.

We hope these blogs help to broaden your knowledge of the world surrounding blues dance, and that they inspire you to find out more about the dance, the music and the culture that blues came/comes from.

Blues Music: The Language of the Blues

THE LANGUAGE OF THE BLUES   Available in Français, Deutsch, Italiano, Russian/Pусский and Español.     INTRODUCTION This article is a collection of excerpts from one of my favourite books, ‘The Language of the Blues from Alcorub to Zuzu’ by Debra Devi. All quotes in this article are from this book, with the page numbers referenced under each…

Blues Music: Songs and Their Stories

SONGS & THEIR STORIES Classic Female Blues   Post available in English, Español, Français, Deutsch, Russian/Pусский and Italiano.     Included in this post: Introduction What are ‘Race Records’? (A very brief explanation) The Songs: Original recordings, modern recordings, and short anecdotes.     INTRODUCTION   A good 15 years before Robert Johnson even made his…

Blues History & Culture: Angles and Asymmetry

ANGULARITY & ASYMMETRY IN AFRICAN AMERICAN VERNACULAR DANCE   Post available in English, French, German and Spanish. (Translations in Italian and Russian available soon.)   Included in this post: Introduction: “The grammar of culture” Angularity and Asymmetry in African and African American Art Angularity and Asymmetry in African and African American Dance Different Cultural Values    …

Blues History & Culture: Vernacular Dance

BLUES DANCE: An African American Vernacular Dance Part 1 This article is also available to read in Russian, French, Italian, Spanish and German. русский FrançaisItalianoEspañolDeutsch This article aims to briefly explore the meaning of ‘vernacular’ dance, referring mainly to two books: ‘Steppin on the Blues’ by Jacqui Malone and ‘Jazz Dance’ by Marshall and Jean…

Race and Cultural Appropriation in Blues Dance

Available in multiple languages   Читать на русском LEER EN ESPAÑOL LESEN SIE AUF DEUTSCH LEGGI IN ITALIANO LIRE EN FRANÇAIS Over the past few weeks many important conversations have been taking place amongst people in the blues dance community concerning cultural appropriation.   Cultural appropriation is defined as: a concept in sociology dealing with…

Blues History: Mamie Smith

MAMIE SMITH ‘The Queen of The Blues’   WHO IS MAMIE SMITH? Name: Nee Mamie Robinson, Mamie Smith after marrying William “Smitty” Smith. Life: May 26, 1883 – September 16, 1946. Thought to have been born in Cincinnati, Ohio, however there are no records of her birth.   Mamie Smith, a versatile vaudeville performer, is famous for being…

Stefano Ronchi Confesses His Blues…

Stefano “Slidin’ Wolf” Ronchi is an Italian blues guitar player and singer living in Berlin. His way of composing and arranging is grounded in old black folklore music from the 20’s and 30’s, from Delta Blues and Piedmont Blues, through old Spirituals, stomp and “swamp” sounds. We are totally in love with Stefano’s soulful voice…