What is “Blues” Music?

When you think about the idea of “blues”, it wouldn’t be surprising to think of sad or painful things. When it comes to the music genre, you’re not too far off. The grit and sound of blues have generally been associated with the feelings of melancholy or palpable emotion. Not to be confused with sad country music, this genre sparked a complete revolution for African-American history. The blues was believed to have started from the heart of the Deep South at around the 19th century. It was the culmination of the grand African-American musical traditions, worship songs, and other ballads.

It has since evolved into many styles and may offshoots. Here are some of them:

Country Blues
Chicago Blues
Gospel Blues
Twelve-Bar Blues
Jug Bands
New Orleans Blues
...and so many more

 Each one has its own charm and appeal. Each one adds to the rich history and culture of Blues.

What do we hope to accomplish?

We at Bay Area Blues Society aim to provide a much needed platform for artists both old and new. We make it our mission to reach out to communities and support the art of Blues no matter where it may be in the bay area. We aim to parlay our own personal knowledge of the histories and legends of the Blues world to empower future generations into chasing their own style and form in the world of blues.

Join us as we provide articles about past and future events. We also provide profile highlights to some of the greatest Blues performers the world has ever seen. If you feel like you are struggling to find your own sound, don’t let that defeat you. Blues isn’t just one form or sound. The best artists have taken the old music and carved out their own path.

If you believe you can help out, this is the page for you.

Even Rockstars Need a Personal trainer

What is a personal trainer? A person who’s educated and certified to assist others in getting healthy through cardiovascular conditioning, yoga, weight-lifting, aerobic exercise, or maybe some other health modality. They are called “personal” since they work with a prospect one on one. Who can make use of the service like a personal trainer in college station, you would be amazed!

Personal trainers aren’t merely for all those with bottomless pockets, professional athletes, celebrities, or maybe bodybuilders. Personal trainers can also be for rockstars and ordinary people. Of course, they’ll probably cost you cash, unless they are covered under an insurance plan, but dealing with a trainer does not need to be a continual expense.

A professional can show you how to exercise. He or she can demonstrate exercises and also have you follow along carefully. They can arrange an entire routine that is custom made for you, plus one that you can do even after the personal training sessions have ended.

You can also discover you about fitness from authority, to gain information about your muscles, and body to do workouts so you will not get injured. Perhaps you have tried lifting weights before and then harm yourself?

An expert trainer may be especially useful if you’ve medical issues. For instance, they’ll work with you in case you’ve arthritis or heart problems or maybe any variety of topics. When you start, make sure they’ve trained in dealing with issues such as yours. Sometimes the physician of yours can send you to a personal trainer that is skilled in exercise plans for the health problems you’ve.

Some individuals require assistance getting started, while others need somebody to inspire them and keep them responsible for a short time. That is not a problem because an instructor can provide just what you would like. The thing to perform is to talk with a couple of trainers before you choose one and search for a perfect fight. In case you are confused, timid, plus do not know where you can begin, a trainer that barks orders such as a drill sergeant is most likely not the proper match.

jillian - Even Rockstars Need a Personal trainer

You must also figure out the following items before you employ a specific individual trainer:

1. Are they going to train you at the home of yours, the studio of theirs, or perhaps at a gym? Some professionals are connected with great gyms. They have gone through the training program of theirs and are allowed to work with all of the materials at the gym. This may or wouldn’t do the job for you, based on your desires and circumstances.

2. Your trainer should consult with you what you wish to attain from the coaching sessions. Essentially, it’s about you… not them.

3. They must be nationally accredited as a personal trainer. Just how much experience do they’ve training folks? Do they have referrals you can contact?

4. Do they have liability insurance? If personal training is the job of theirs and not merely a hobby, they’ll likely have insurance. Do check though.

5. Do your personalities appear to mesh? In case you are at all uncomfortable with the trainer, then select a unique body.

A personal trainer should produce a fitness plan for you based on the place you presently are and the place you wish to go. He or maybe she could be extremely handy in case you’ve health problems, do not understand how to work out and need encouragement and inspiration. Finally, dealing with a personal trainer could sometimes be long term or short term, plus you do not need to be a sports rock star to employ one!

Learn to Play the Jazz Piano

In case you’re searching for an instrument which is a lot different but continues to be immensely fun to play next among the best instruments may be the piano with all its many styles. The piano is among the most endearing and preferred tools of all the time and understands everything about playing jazz piano offers several players with the limitless amount of fun and numerous important challenges. Whether it is in order to have family and friends with a distinctive form of playing or maybe to enroll in a band or perhaps ensemble, having the ability to provide piano improvisation makes sure that this kind of playing is a single which is attractive to many.This isn’t your typical piano lessons in las vegas but less structured.

jazz piano - Learn to Play the Jazz Piano

Which means that whether jazz piano chords are everything you study first or maybe you focus on developing melodies, you will find a lot of great choices to have the first steps of yours into the realm of jazz piano and all it requires. Although there continues to be a resurgence in the acceptance of jazz in the recent past, along with numerous important artists of styles that are different are already noted to present a jazz style or maybe motif to the songs of theirs, this particular music type may well not be at the upper part of the charts. This causes a greater need for musicians who could perform jazz which makes it a helpful ability for musicians to possess and learning how to enjoy jazz piano can hold any budding musician hectic.

Uncover the Spirit of Jazz

A significant reason why a lot of individuals have a fondness of jazz is because of the method in which it is able to get it change its speed or style significantly and isn’t as caught in a conventional design as other musical styles. Those who don’t love to be constrained or even linked with a generic style love the independence that jazz provides plus piano improvisation is a skill that’s tremendously admired by a lot of fans of the design. Jazz is starting to be progressively more common, and also whether it’s being played live in a jazz club or perhaps for a Cd at home, jazz music is able to bring folks together. A great deal of this’s done to jazz piano chords as well as the spirit and power they bring to songs.

duke - Learn to Play the Jazz Piano

The concept of any jazz club conjures up images of a bye gone era when awesome folks came together in small subterranean clubs to talk about the music they loved with individuals that held identical passions. Although lovers of this particular genre actually are immensely proud and pumped up about one of music offered, jazz might not belong to the mainstream like several musical types. This helps make understanding how you can enjoy jazz piano an immensely enjoyable pastime for individuals to have.

Make it Up

One of the greatest points about jazz music is that everybody is able to engage in and make the style of theirs or even have a specific form of music which can satisfy a lot of folks. There are numerous tools which could come together to create an excellent piece of jazz music, but 1 of most crucial will be the piano. What this means is that piano improvisation abilities are a crucial component of any jazz musician or maybe bands arsenal which is able to include an excellent touch to any item of jazz music. It does not matter what kind of jazz will be your preferred to enjoy or maybe your favorite to play, the choices for making great jazz are practically endless and also mastering the strategies of jazz is able to enable you to produce great art forms. What this means is that creating a solid understanding of jazz piano chords is an excellent method to enhance the ability of yours to create decent jazz music.



The music genre of Blues is fully rich in history and struggle. Join us as we take a closer look at the relevant beginnings, emphatic struggles, and the continuing endurance of this beautiful art. It is universally acknowledged that the Blues originated from the Deep South. It is even argued that this art form started from the heart of plantations.

It was the suffering public of slaves and their descendants that created and kept the Blues alive. African-Americans prided themselves with their work tunes, worship songs, their hymns, and even drum music. These all somehow transitioned into what we know to be the Blues. This music is so popular that it often ends up being used by wedding DJs in Philadelphia for dancing.

According to music scholars, the first appearance of actual dated Blues occurred after the Emancipation Act of 1863. This enabled people of color to establish what are known as “Juke Joints” or even a “barrelhouse”. These were places where people of color gathered after work or during their free time. These were the places wherein they listened to organic music, danced, or interacted in a free social setting. While informal in its setting, Juke Joints played an integral part in the development and cultivation of Blues. It was in these places where talented musicians practiced their craft and had immediate feedback from their peers.

It wasn’t until early 1908 where blues sheet music first hit publication. It is sad that while blues had a great start, not much is documented. This is entirely because of the racial discrimination that was the norm around this time. What was also odd around this time was that there was no clear division in the category for Blues and Country. So they were often sold together—much to the artists’ confusion. The primary way in which you can differentiate Blues and Country from each other was through the ethnicity of the performer. At the time, even this was often done poorly as record labels did not really prioritize proper information regarding artists who weren’t white.

A hindrance to Blues as an art was the influence of religious communities of both colors. At the time, it was generally believed that Blues was the “Devil’s Music”. It didn’t particularly help that there was significant lore about Blues players having supernatural ties. The lyrics of their songs were also hinting to supernatural ties. So if you were a guitarist at the time, you could fall into two particular categories: guitar preachers or songsters. If you had vocals to accompany your Blues chords, you would either be a gospel singer or a blues singer.

However, when the recording of Blues became more commonplace around 1920, it was noted that both “gospel” and “Blues” shared quite similar techniques. Blues was often associated with its call-and-response style pattern. It seemed that “holy” music also took this style for their pieces.

Regardless of the divide, Blues continued to persist through the years. It eventually came to be intrinsically tied to the African-American culture as a whole. The offshoots and hybrids of Blues grew in popularity as time went on. All of these led to what we know Blues to be today.


Infographic by: musikalessons.com


The Blues has always enjoyed a significant amount of budding artists, year after year. As we are dedicated to providing artists with a helpful resource, we’ve compiled the best songs that guitar beginners can learn.

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd

We would be honestly surprised if you were to say that you aren’t familiar with this song. “Sweet Home Alabama” is a proven American classic. It has enjoyed a lot of screen time over the years, especially in romantic comedies.

This song is effectively one of the simplest songs to play on the guitar (not counting the solo). The simplistic intro and consistent simplistic chords is a great way to test the retention of the player. As soon as you’ve mastered the chords, it’ll be time to keep practicing until you’re comfortable with tackling the solo. Don’t worry; the chords are still generally the same, just a bit higher in its tempo.

Fast Car – Tracy Chapman

Another established classic, this song was released in 1988. It won a Grammy Award in the category of Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. This song is a great starter song as the chords are mostly repetitive in nature. It’s a good way to test your memory and strumming until you’re ready for the faster set.

It’s a Long Way – Seasick Steve


A simple 3 chord song by nature, it is a classic pick up and play, Blues song. It’s fairly short but it’s a great way to shake up your budding library of knowledge.

That’s All Right – “Big Boy” Cruddup

This song has four chords and is a good way to really familiarize yourself with the method of stretching notes as you sing the words.

Cotton Fields – Leadbelly


This song is a common favorite for beginners. It has four chords and it’s a good way to shake up any repetitive songs that you’ve been favoring. We always endeavor to progress the repertoire of budding artists out there all the while keeping the challenge simple.

Sweet Home Chicago – Blues Brothers

While a bit tricky as the chords change per line, it’s a great way to slowly upgrade your playing style without having to feel frustrated at the progress.  It will definitely take a bit of practice before you master this one. However, once you do you’ll find that your fingers and your mind will be more attuned to changing it up.

Some Tips for the Beginner

Do adequate research

There are a lot of great blues songs out there. However, you shouldn’t be deceived at how simple sounding they may be. The best blues songs are often have simplistic styling yet have killer chord progression. Make use of good websites that already did the legwork and categorized blues songs per difficulty.

Be consistent with practice


You can’t hope to become good if you don’t keep up with your practice. We understand that it may be challenging. However, if things were so easy to attain, they wouldn’t be worth having.

Happy chording and keep at it!



If you have never heard of Oakland’s annual Art & Soul Festival, you are most definitely missing out. As it’s incoming again this year, we’ve decided to build a handy guide that you can use.

What is Art and Soul Oakland?

It is an annual summer festival that brings the community together. Started in 2001, it had the goal of suitably celebrating the grand style, spirit, and soul that the area is famous for. Today, it is one of the largest celebrations of art, music, food, and community camaraderie. Usually taking up a full weekend, it brings together various music genres under one roof.

When and where is Art and Soul Oakland 2017?

This year, it’ll be held on August 19 and August 20. It’ll start at noon and end at six in the evening. Try to follow your feet to downtown Oakland and you’ll find a 10-block area with Frank H. Ogawa Plaza at its heart.

You have the choice of entering from any of three locations: 14th Street & Broadway, Promenade alongside City Center West Garage, and San Pablo Avenue. Ticket prices are sold right at the entrances. The prices are $12 for adults and $7 for senior citizens and those under 17 but older than 13. The festival is free for anyone under the age of twelve.

Are there any Blues performers of note?

On a general sense, all the blues performers that will showcase their talents at the festival are noteworthy. However, there is a lineup available for your perusal here. There is more than one stage so there are a significant number of artists that get to perform during the festival.

We’re looking forward to Goapele’s 4:30 performance at the main stage on the first day of the festival. If you don’t know who this talented gift to soul is, you should definitely try to catch her performance on stage.  On the next day, you can catch Angie Stone at the same time slot. A Grammy-nominated singer, she deserves every moment of your attention and subsequent adoration.

What else is there?

Art and Soul has a lot of activities for various age groups. For the kiddies, there are a lot of arts, rides, and other activities that are organized by local groups.

A marketplace shall be available for the lovers of art and specialized crafts. Local artists have an annual project that incorporates the efforts of guests to form a large mural. Other than the art, the food is something to definitely look forward to! The food vendors take great pride in providing fares that sample international wares. You can travel the whole culinary world and stay exactly where you are. If you’re aiming to truly taste the culture of the bay area, be prepared to sample beer, wine, and several other types of beverages will be made available.

Art and Soul Festival endeavors to be eco-friendly. As such, all vendors shall be using recyclable flatware. If you have any other questions, do send us a message and we’ll be glad to help you!



There is just something about an extraordinary blues guitar performance that speaks to your soul. We scrounge up what we believe are the top three blues guitar performances ever. Arguably, one of the best things that blues is known for are the incredible guitar players that show off their prowess during live performances. In light of that, we banded together and tried to determine our picks for the top three best blues guitar performances.

Remember, this is just our humble opinion. You’re more than welcome to create your own top three list and send it our way. Without further ado, let’s go on to our list:

Number 3: “Crossroads” by Eric Clapton

This song is no doubt one of his best known songs. However, did you know that it is this song that is regaled as his best guitar performance as well?

If you aren’t at all familiar with whom this guitar legend is, Eric Clapton is a blues guitarist. He is, by far, the only person who has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame more than twice in his career.

When he performed Crossroads, he made use of his 1964 Gibson SG Standard. Clapton delivered a truly powerful performance which fired off a spark in the hearts and minds of many. To this day, the riff from this song is the go-to must learn riff for the new generation of budding blues guitar players.

Number 2:  “All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix

If you’re a fan of the modern Battlestar Galactica series, you are sure to know this world famous song and performance. While not a Hendrix original, his rendition is now the better known one. Even the original creator, Bob Dylan, has preferred to use this version when he used to perform it at his shows.

What was so intrinsically seductive about this blues guitar performance was the way that he stretched the notes and brought an unearthly wane to the chords. The changing tempo of the chords all the while sustaining the overall beat was a great showcase of his talents as a guitarist. It also didn’t hurt that he delivers a great vocal rendition to the song.

Number 1: “The Thrill is Gone” by B.B. King

Was there ever any doubt as to what our number one pick would be? If you were ever going to find a sample of the true soul and feel of blues guitar, this is where you need to go. The way that King strums his guitar touches the gentle nuance that is indicative of the blues genre.

His simple sounding notes but exceptional deliver provided viewers and listeners an uncomplicated serving of the depth of emotion that can be conveyed by blues. When he sings “All I can do is wish you well”, our hearts break along with him. King’s performance here is one of the greatest evidences we have that Blues is well and alive and will continue to endure.

May Blues live on forever!



Very little is known about Seasick Steve. Most people may not even know his name. Today, we take a closer look at one of Oakland CA’s blues champions.

Early History

Born as Steven Gene Wold, he is commonly known as Seasick Steve. He is also a rather talented American blues musician. When Steve was young, his father played boogie-woogie (a popular offshoot of Blues) on piano. As much as Seasick Steve would have loved to learn the same craft, he was not able to do so. He thought that maybe he didn’t have the talent or the aptitude to play. However, that impression changed when a worker in his grandfather’s garage taught him the guitar.

This worker was no one else than the very talented K. C. Douglas. This was when the young Steve would realize that he did have an affinity for Blues—just not with the same instrument as his father.

In his teens, he left home to escape an abusive stepfather. It is this time of his life that he credits for most of his passion and inspiration for Blues and his latter songs. He lived on the road until the latter part of 1973. He travelled by sneaking unto freight trains and survived by taking odd jobs all over the country. It was probably these experiences that fueled much of his material.

Musical Journey

It was around the 60s that Steve had begun to really practice his music. He toured and performed with some other blues musicians. Most of his time was spent in San Francisco, a city with a large Blues following.

It was not until 2001 that he released his first ever album entitled “Cheap”. The album was recorded in Norway and had The Level Devils as his rhythm support, Jo Husmo on bass, and Kai Christoffersen on the drums. His solo album did not grace the world until 2006.

Popularity in the UK

It was on a New Year’s Eve BBC TV 20016 special that truly helped to launch Seasick Steve’s career. He had performed a live version of “Dog House Boogie”. It was only after this show that his popularity truly came around.

He was generally well-liked in the UK and even won the 2007 MOJO Award for Best Breakthrough Act. Following that, he went on to perform in large UK festivals. The following year, he kicked off a massive UK tour schedule. Continuing his initial success in the UK, all of his tours were sold out.

To this day, he enjoys success in the UK.


The Three-String Trance Wonder

Arguably, the most well-known of Seasick Steve’s equipment is his trusty old guitar named The Three-String Trance Wonder. While there are many versions of the tale about how this guitar came into his possession, there is no doubt that it is his most iconic possession.

Present Day Activities

Seasick Steve is still in the United Kingdom. While it may be a little odd that he has yet to return to the USA for long-term durations, it does not stop him from being one of Oakland’s beloved blues figures.


Email List

Subscribe to get Latest email updates and to find what's going on.