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Music notes: Daughters’ funk puts them into venerable musical mode

SHARE Music notes: Daughters’ funk puts them into venerable musical mode

The other evening, my daughters were told they couldn't go see their friend Tori. So, they ranted and raved, as kids do when things don't go their way.

Later, I went upstairs and heard my younger daughter Katie, playing the slow-shuffle blues on my bongos. You know, the standard blues beat that goes, da DA da da DA da.

Then Ally, my older daughter, began to sing:

"Life isn't fair."

da DA da da DA da.

"This person's a bear."

da DA da da DA da.

"I want to hang with Tori."

da DA da da DA da.

"That's the end of the story."

I couldn't help but laugh. Here were these two kids — ages 8 and 10 — pumping out an impromptu blues jam.

I went downstairs and said, "You guys know what type of music you're doing?"

"What?" they said in unison.

"The blues," I said with a smile.

"Well, whatever it is, it makes me feel better," said Ally.

That's one of the purposes of the blues — to allow the singer to vent frustrations, to lament losses, whether it's a spouse, a dog, a truck or money . . . or the privilege of visiting a friend.

In order to play the blues well, the musician must sell his soul to the devil. Figuratively speaking, of course.

I was very happy they found a creative way to let loose some steam. Hearing that song was much better than hearing glasses break or walls being punched or arguments.

While my kids don't really do any of those things . . . well, except the arguments part . . . it gave me a good feeling that they were able to channel their anger in a constructive way.

And I can't deny the fact that I also felt a sense of pride.

The blues, after all, make up half of the ingredients for rock 'n' roll. The other half, of course, is country music.

That's what happened when Ike Turner recorded the song "Rocket '88" back in 1952.

The late Sam Phillips, the founder of Sun Records — and the man who discovered Elvis Presley — once said of Turner's song: "That is the first rock 'n' roll record."

Two years later, Presley walked into the studio and cut "That's All Right," and he started a revolution.

Music today is a blend of many different styles. But in the rock world, take away the flash pots, chaselights, blinding costumes, and boil down the chords, and what you have left is country and blues.

It's been 50 years since Presley became a poster child for the rock revolution. It's been 52 years since the actual birth of rock 'n' roll, thanks to Turner.

So, to these two musical pioneers, I say thanks for helping my kids cope with life's little disappointments.


E-mail: scott@desnews.com