The official blog of Nicole Warner, mezzo-soprano
When was the first time you heard the blues?
In college I loved going to concerts by myself (still do, in fact). I went to everything from opera to obscure baroque to brand new music concerts.
One night I snuck out on my roommates to hear the blues.
I was just a 21-year-old white girl from a small town in Wisconsin weaving through a construction zone to go hear some kind of music I'd never heard before. There couldn't have been more than 20 people in the whole place and most of them were regulars. If there was a shade of skin color you could think of, it was there. Nobody looked at you funny, no one questioned the fact that you were there. It was all about the music.
Why I chose to go there that night I have no idea. Wherever it was, it wasn't far from my dorm. It wasn't expensive and it wasn't totally out-of-the-way, either. I have no idea if there were even multiple performers that night.
What I do remember is the older guy who was apparently famous in the blues world and had been out of town for a while, based on how people greeted him.
He wore slacks like my Grandpa, work slacks, and obviously had grown up in a different time--you could see it in the way he dressed and held himself.
He sang about women, the blues, what it was really like to have the blues, what qualified him to sing the blues, he let his guitar speak, and he gave it all time. The man was in no rush. This man had lived the blues and everyone was there to listen.