In blues, you don’t have to be that terribly inventive. You can play the same old three chords (or, as Ali Farka Touré demonstrated, just one old chord) over the same old twelve bars and still get away with that. The lyrics also doesn’t matter much. Typically, you go from Indiana to New Orleans, or was it the other way round? The only thing that matters is that you do it well.
Yesterday I went to see Guitar Lightnin’ Lee and His Thunder Band, all the way from New Orleans, in El Almacén de Little Bobby. They started 21:30 and were cooking non-stop for about 100 minutes. After the first two songs, the tiny club was packed so I can’t see much from my bar stool. Boy, the man himself was good. The band members, every one probably half his age, also were rock solid. I couldn’t understand that well what he was singing or talking about but he looked genuinely touched by the crowd’s enthusiasm. “You guys are so nice to me”, he said at some point. “I’m not used to such kind treatment.”